Healthcare News & Insights

2 groups of doctors are less optimistic about health IT

Part of a health IT professional’s job is to make sure doctors in their organizations are getting the most out of the technology that’s available to them. But there’s one thing that may keep that from happening: 

Many doctors fail to recognize all of the benefits of health IT.

That’s the message from a recent survey of 3,700 doctors conducted by tech services firm Accenture. The majority of doctors surveyed agreed on what the top benefits of healthcare technology are, including:

  1. Better access to quality data for clinical research (cited as a benefit by 71% of respondents)
  2. Improved coordination of care (69%), and
  3. A reduction in medical errors (66%).

However, there were some gaps in beliefs about the benefits of health IT. Specifically, two groups of doctors had lower opinions of what IT can do in their organizations:

  1. Doctors over 50 years old, and
  2. Those who aren’t actively using health IT.

For example, while 72% of doctors under 50 believe health IT will improve care coordination, just 65% of older physicians said the same.

And 87% of doctors with the most experience using electronic health records and health information exchanges had a positive attitude about the benefits of those technologies, compared to 65% of doctors with the least experience.

Getting doctors to use technology as effectively as possible will require getting those groups on board and believing in the benefits of health IT.

One way to help do that is to structure IT training in a way that emphasizes how that technology can help doctors do their jobs better — including the benefits that will save them time, as well as the ways IT will help them provide better care for patients.

Also, communicating with doctors early in the process when new IT tools are implemented and involving them in decision making can help get them on board to use new technology.

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