Survey of Nearly 11,000 Doctors Shows Strong Adoption of Electronic Health Records, Other Digital Technologies

Thursday, July 8, 2010 General News
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NEW YORK, July 7 A new survey by Knowledge Networks using the Physicians Consulting Network (PCNŽ) - its panel of specialists and other health care professionals - shows how digital technology and other factors are transforming doctors' attitudes and habits. Compared to two years ago, primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialist doctors alike have dramatically increased their use of electronic health records (EHRs), and they are expecting to spend less time with sales reps in the coming six months.

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 survey taking.

In many areas, the new research follows up on a 2008 Physicians Consulting Network study, revealing important changes in the attitudes and priorities of PCPs and specialists; results for the study can be broken out for over 50 specialties.

In the new survey, 52% of specialists and 50% 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. While use of this technology will soon be mandated, these "early adopter" levels suggest a desire for digital convenience at a time when patient record keeping promises to become exponentially more complex.

In addition, 12% of specialists and 14% of PCPs said they expect to decrease the amount of time they spend with pharmaceutical sales reps in the next six months. These figures are significantly but not dramatically higher than in 2008, when the results were 8% for specialists and 9% for PCPs; but the change points to increasing demands on the time of health care professionals.

Smartphones (such as iPhones and BlackBerries) are quickly becoming a way of life for medical professionals; 62% of specialists and 55% of PCPs report having one, and roughly 85% to 90% of those who have them are using them for Internet and for email. The survey also showed that 17% of PCPs and 18% of specialists who have smartphones are using them for e-detailing and higher proportions, 29% of PCPs and 24% of specialists use them to participate in on-line surveys.

The study was fielded from April to June 2010, with 10,664 PCN membersŽ responding.

The Physicians Consulting Network (PCNŽ)is the only physician research panel combining senior-level survey expertise with access to thousands of hard-to-reach, highly engaged specialists. It delivers answers to the most sophisticated physician surveys with the responsiveness required for making wise decisions overnight.

Table 1. PCPs, specialists seeking convenience, control PCPs Specialists 2010 2008 2010 2008 Using electronic records 50% 38% 52% 42% Expect to decrease sales rep time 14% 9% 12% 8% Own smartphone 55% -- 62% -- Use smartphone for e- detailing* 17% -- 18% -- Use smartphone for surveys* 29% -- 24% -- * Among smartphone owners

SOURCE Knowledge Networks

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