To read this content please select one of the options below:

An empirical study of Internet usage and difficulties among medical practice management in the UK

Debra Howcroft (Debra Howcroft ( is a lecturer at the Information Systems Research Centre, University of Salford, Salford, UK.)
Nathalie Mitev (Nathalie Mitev ( is at the Department of Information Systems, London School of Economics, London, UK.)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 May 2000



Considers the use of information technology in the UK National Health Service (NHS) as the government pledges to connect every doctor or general practitioner (GP) to the NHS’s information superhighway by the year 2002. This paper uses a case study of a particular UK health authority as a vehicle to illustrate the complexity of the social and technical considerations surrounding this issue. At a grass roots level, the adoption and diffusion of information technology within general practices (surgeries or groups of GPs) is highly varied and there are huge contrasts in the levels of commitment to information management. Within the case study this is evident on an individual level, in that some GPs enthuse about technology, while others are positively “technophobic”. On the general practice level, there are other elements to consider, especially in relation to the levels of financial support available. Non‐fund holding general practices in socially deprived areas are far less willing to embrace information management and technology. One explanation suggested for this is based on priorities: when faced with the option of “cruising” the information superhighway, as opposed to treating seriously ill patients living in socially deprived areas, the former may simply be relegated as less important.



Howcroft, D. and Mitev, N. (2000), "An empirical study of Internet usage and difficulties among medical practice management in the UK", Internet Research, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 170-181.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Related articles