Doctors Increase EMR Use - InformationWeek

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Healthcare // Electronic Health Records
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7/12/2010
07:15 PM
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Doctors Increase EMR Use

Primary care physicians and specialist doctors are using electronic medical records more, and more than half have smartphones, according to a Knowledge Networks study.

A growing number of primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialist doctors are using electronic medical records and other technologies as they adopt health information technology to streamline their workflow processes, a new study shows.

The survey, conducted by Knowledge Networks in conjunction with the Physicians Consulting Network (PCN) and its panel of specialists and other health care professionals, shows that 52 percent of specialists and 50 percent of PCPs said they are already keeping their patient records in an electronic format -- up 10 percentage points for specialists and 12 points for PCPs since 2008.

Published last week, the study of nearly 11,000 health care professionals also shows that more than half of PCPs and specialists already have smartphones, and that many are using them for email, shopping, e-detailing and to participate in surveys.

The report reveals that smartphones, such as iPhones and BlackBerries, are quickly becoming a way of life for medical professionals. Sixty two percent of specialists and 55 percent of PCPs report having one, and roughly 85 percent to 90 percent of those who have them are using them for Internet and for email.

Other findings were that 17 percent of PCPs and 18 percent of specialists who have smartphones are using them for e-detailing, which refers to the use of technology to bypass sales calls from pharmaceutical representative. Higher proportions -- 29 percent of PCPs and 24 percent of specialists -- use smartphones to participate in on-line surveys.

Executives at Knowledge Networks say the research reflects the way digital technology and other factors are transforming doctors' attitudes and habits.

"Marketers must adjust to the needs of plugged-in, increasingly busy doctors in everything they do - from the platforms they use for messaging to the time they expect to have with prescribers," Jim Vielee, senior vice president at Knowledge Networks, said in a statement. "Health care professionals are embracing new technologies that promise more control and convenience; we cannot help but see a connection between the use of smartphones for e-detailing and an anticipated drop in time spent with sales reps. These trends seem destined to magnify as health care reform takes effect, creating dramatic upswings in doctors' case loads."

Knowledge Networks is a company that works closely with clients to create, effective marketing, advertising, public policies, and social science research.

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