"Innovative technologies and methods in General Practice", reflects the advent of modern technologies into general practice, which to a large extent change diagnostic procedures, the way of working and communication, both with patients and within the health care system. For example, the Czech Republic has become a European leader in the use of POCT laboratory techniques in primary care. The arsenal of instrumental diagnostic technology is developing. In addition to devices from cardiovascular and pulmonary diagnostics, it has recently been sonographic examination in the POCUS regime. Various solutions in the field of IT applications and communication systems, both with patients and within the healthcare system, are also gaining in importance. Distance medicine is emerging. All of these changes are coming very quickly now, and they are not all evaluated in terms of their actual contribution to improving patients and doctors´ satisfaction and safety, quality of care or cost-effectiveness. In this area, there is both space and need for research in primary care.
Innovative methods include new ways doctors organise their practice and approaches to management of their patients´ problems. Benefits or risks of a team/shared practice vs single practice can be the field of research focus. The Czech Republic is characterized by a predominance of single practices in which independent doctors operate. The Europe-wide trend towards the development of team practices is difficult to apply here. There is a shortage of non-medical staff, and it is more difficult to set up multidisciplinary teams. One example of an inspiring innovation in the competence of a Czech GP is the reimbursement of a Psychosomatic intervention provided by GPs with extra psychosomatic education including self-reflection and supervision. The cost-effectiveness needs to be evaluated.
General practice in the Czech Republic is developing successfully, its importance has grown even more after the covid pandemic, and it is one of the most frequent career choices of medical students. Both professional and scientific organizations have a strong position and academic workplaces of general practice are also developing. Only research in primary care is still a weakness. Tradition, experience, methodological background and institutional support are lacking. In recent years, the situation has improved, thanks to international and interdisciplinary cooperation and some successful local projects.
We believe that the ERGPRN conference in Prague will become an impulse for further development of research in primary care in the Czech Republic.