Healthcare News & Insights

80% of doctors think health IT improves patient communication

Thanks to legal changes and other shifts in the healthcare industry, doctors face several new challenges. And most are turning to technology for help, according to a recent report. 

Professionals in all industries are pressed for time right now. But doctors are especially hard hit, according to the recent study, “Today’s Physician: Managing Change,” by MedPage Today.

On average, physicians are experiencing a 43% increase in the number of weekly patients, according to the survey of 214 doctors. That means doctors have less time to spend with each patient. They also have less time to focus on their own education and attend conferences, read journals and meet with pharmaceutical representatives.

How are physicians dealing with those challenges? Most of them are turning to technology to help with both.

More than two-thirds of the doctors surveyed spend at least three hours on a computer every day. In addition, one in four spend over three hours using a tablet, smartphone or other mobile device.

Increasing use of technology is occurring within all age groups — while older doctors were less likely to use mobile devices, according to the report, they were also slightly more likely to use computers.

What are they doing with those computers and devices? The number one use of technology is searching the Internet for medical news and information.

Use of computers and mobile devices is also helping doctors care for patients, as 80% of physicians believe that advances in technology have improved their communication with patients.

Improving communication is important — in fact, communication abilities represent one of the biggest skills gaps in health care today, according to a recent report published by the American Hospital Association’s Physician Leadership Forum.

In addition to communicating with patients, doctors must also get better at communicating with each other, according to the report. Many initiatives to improve patient care involve doctors increasing their abilities to share knowledge and patients’ medical information.

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