Choose and Book is part of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), a government drive to use Information Technology (IT) to improve healthcare. Choose and Book is an electronic appointment booking system for non-emergency referrals from General Practitioners(GPs) to Hospital Physicians. The potential benefits of Choose and Book include increased patient choice of which hospital they will be referred to as well as a reduction of paperwork for GPs.The benefits will however be greatest if the majority of physicians use the Choose and Book system.
The system has been available in selected areas since August 2004 and initial technical difficulties with the Choose and Book system are being overcome. Nonetheless, the use among clinicians in these early stages appears to be particularly low.
To investigate clinicians attitudes toward 'Choose and Book' and the current level of use of the system. We hope to identify the reasons for the low usage from clinicians views and use this information to suggest ways of increasing the use in order to benefit from the Choose and Book system fully.
The study will be a cross-sectional quantitative analysis
The target population of our study are NHS clinicians, as these are the main users of Choose and Book. We will gather information using a questionnaire, which will be administered electronically.
We will email any potential participants and invite them to take part in our study. Information about the purpose of the study will be sent in this email in form of a information sheet.
A link within the email will direct them to the website hosting our questionnaire (www.questionpro.com).
We will also send one reminder email a few days after the original email in case a clinician was willing to, but had simply forgotten to fill it out.
This is the only contact we will make with any of the proposed participants.
We will collate and analyse the data using statistical methods (for example specialist statistical software) aim to identify any patterns or trends that will help us understand physicians views about the Choose and Book system, and therefore suggest solutions to improve usage.
As our survey is entirely electronic, we will be excluding any physicians who do not use email as well as maybe those who are not as technically savvy.
Furthermore, we will be contacting physicians in a certain part of London, so the representativeness of our results will be limited. However, we hope that our result will highlight common attitudes and stimulate further research.