Background and objectives
General practice electronic health records (EHRs) are a rich source of primary care data that can be used for important research. The aim of this qualitative study was to analyse the attitudes of Australian general practitioners (GPs) to the use of data extracted from primary care EHRs for clinical research.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 Australian GPs. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.
Two main themes emerged. The data custodian role encompassed GPs’ determination to maintain privacy, their trust of organisations involved and benefits of research outcomes. The theme of protecting practice resources included concerns about unrecompensed staff time and potential risks to data and systems.
This study highlights that while Australian GPs have concerns about the use of data stored on their EHRs, they also recognise the benefits of using this data for research purposes. Addressing these concerns could help to ensure that researchers have access to this valuable and rich data resource.