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Digital Divide Exists With Physician EHR Adoption

Digital Divide Exists With Physician EHR Adoption

Adopters found to be optimistic about IT's potential, while non-adopters remain skeptical

MONDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of physicians remain reluctant to adopt health information technology (HIT), according to a report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Harry Greenspun, M.D., a senior advisor at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions in Washington, D.C., and colleagues conducted an annual web-based survey of a nationally representative sample of the U.S. primary care and specialist physicians selected from the American Medical Association's master file of physicians. The survey was completed by 613 physicians.

The researchers found that the majority of physicians believe HIT can increase collaboration and improve care. Primary care physicians believe efficiencies can be achieved through improved billing and e-prescribing. Physicians participating in accountable care organizations see HIT as improving care coordination through improved access to clinical support, including guidelines and lab reports. Additionally, the survey found most physicians believe the barriers to HIT adoption -- costs and operational integration -- can be overcome, although almost half of non-adopters have no plans to begin using an electronic health record system. Most physicians are slow to adopt online tools and mobile health technologies for direct patient care.

"Those physicians who are early adopters of HIT, especially the full capabilities of certified EHRs, will potentially gain market advantages over time," Greenspun and colleagues conclude.

Report (http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/Health%20Care%20Provider/us_dchs_2013PhysicianSurveyHIT_051313%20(2).pdf )