Doctors Go Digital Globally

A survey of doctors in eight countries revealed that while the maturity levels of HIT adoption varies, doctors mostly believe in the benefits of HIT. However, there are a few areas where they are did worse in 2012 compared to the previous year.

Today’s doctors are increasingly going digital, according to a new report of health care IT usage in eight surveyed countries.

According to the Accenture Doctors Survey, nearly half (47%) of the doctors in the eight countries surveyed “routinely” access clinical data on patients who are seen by different health organizations. That’s an increase from 33% in 2011.

The survey questioned doctors in Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States. Singapore reported the largest increase of use (up 40%) with the U.S. second (24%).

While the maturity levels of HIT adoption varied across the eight countries, the survey found that doctors mostly do believe in the benefits of HIT and plan to continue making it a part of their practices.

“It is encouraging to see that the rise of the digital doctor is happening in the eight countries surveyed,” according to the report. “These countries have matured in either their routine use of HIE, adoption and use of health care IT — or both — over the past year. Doctors in the U.S. and Singapore saw increases in both adoption of health care IT and HIE from 2011 to 2012, and doctors in Spain and the U.S. showed the highest adoption of health care IT and HIE for 2012.”

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ermany had the largest percentage of doctors (16%) respond that they weren’t interested in accessing clinical data about patients seen by different health organizations, while France had the lowest percentage of doctors (34%) who do so “routinely.”

However, the report reveals that doctors aren’t using technology to interact with patients or colleagues. The percentage of doctors who routinely electronically communicate with providers in other organizations decreased from 30% in 2011 to 22% in 2012.

Unsurprisingly, younger doctors are slightly more likely to feel like patient care improves with the use of EMRs (67% of those under 50 compared to 52% of those over the age of 50).

Accenture reports that eight out of 10 doctors globally are committed to promoting EMR use in their practices. And 74% say EMRs are integral to providing effective patient care today.