Docs still lag with health IT adoption

May 15, 2013 in Medical Technology

The majority of physicians nationwide believe health information technology can precipitate positive outcomes in the provider setting, but in many realms — such as mHealth — health IT continues to be underutilized by docs, according to the findings of a new Deloitte study. 

According to the physician health IT adoption study, some two-thirds of physicians report that they have met meaningful use Stage 1 requirements thus far. When broken down by practice type and age, however, these numbers vary significantly.


For example, physicians aged 60 years or over have only a 50 percent attestation rate to Stage 1. Further, solo practitioners demonstrate an attestation rate of 31 percent, versus 62 percent of mid-size practices and 82 percent of large-sized practices. 


Study findings also suggest that, although most physicians express interest in the prospect of using mobile health tools for clinical purposes, the mHealth market within the provider setting remains untapped, with nearly 60 percent of physicians considered to be “non-users” of mobile health tools.  


“Non-users cite failure of the worksite to provide such devices, and unwillingness or inability to use their personal devices, (44 percent) as a major limitation, more so than concerns about patient privacy (29 percent) or that the applications (apps) and programs are not suited to their needs (26 percent),” the report reads. 


Added Deloitte authors, “Mobile health technologies could add better versatility for clinical purposes (such as increased diagnostic capabilities, remote and point-of-care data access, and remote care and monitoring) and consumer engagement.”


Those physicians who have gone full-throttle with health IT adoption, however, have witnessed big positive results. Out of the two-thirds of physicians overall who have attested to Stage 1 meaningful use, the majority of them cite faster and more accurate billing for services; time savings through e-prescribing; and better communication and care coordination capabilities due to interoperability as the biggest benefits seen thus far. 

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