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Dermatologists, oncologists most likely to communicate online with patients

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Dermatologists and oncologists are the physician specialist groups most likely to communicate with patients online, according to the latest physician report, "Physicians in 2012: The Outlook on Health Information Technology," from pharmaceutical and healthcare market research company Manhattan Research.

Dermatologists and oncologists are the physician specialist groups most likely to communicate with patients online, according to the latest physician report, "Physicians in 2012: The Outlook on Health Information Technology," from pharmaceutical and healthcare market research company Manhattan Research.

Neurologists, endocrinologists, and infectious disease specialists round out the top five specialist groups connecting with patients online. Overall, 39 percent of physicians currently e-mail, send secure messages, or send instant messages to their patients, a 14 percent increase since 2006.

"We find that those physicians connecting with their patients online are more likely to be accessing the Internet during patient consultations and using various forms of health IT across the board," Erika S. Fishman, director of research at Manhattan Research and lead author of the report, said in a prepared statement. "As we work to remove the barriers to physician adoption of online communication with patients, and each party becomes more comfortable with exchanging health information online, we could see a parallel movement in use of electronic medical records and personal health records."

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