To explore the experiences and attitudes of psychiatrists to a new electronic patient records system. A questionnaire was emailed to 115 psychiatrists across the South London & Maudsley National Health Service Foundation Trust.
The total response rate was 66% (senior house officers 75%, specialist registrars 57%, consultants 56%). Technical problems, difficulty with patient confidentiality, administrative burden and impact on clinical work were identified as concerns. However, psychiatrists recognised the potential benefits and the majority did not wish to return to using paper records.
Electronic patient records are rapidly being integrated into the daily practice of psychiatrists. More administrative assistance and specific training should be provided to support clinicians who use this system.
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