Survey: Physicians begrudgingly adopt electronic tools

April 3, 2009

More physician leaders have adopted information technology tools, such as electronic medical records and e-prescribing, than five years ago, but they are generally unsatisfied with the products available.

More physician leaders have adopted information technology tools, such as electronic medical records and e-prescribing, than five years ago, but they are generally unsatisfied with the products available, according to a survey of 1,000 randomly selected physician members of the American College of Physician Executives.

ACPE, a Tampa, Florida-based medical management educational association for physicians, conducted the same survey back in 2004. Five years ago, only 33 percent reported using electronic health records. This year, 64 percent of ACPE members said they were using at least some form of EHR, while e-prescribing rose from 21 percent to 42 percent and physician electronic order entry rose from 33 percent to 44 percent.

While technology use is on the rise, physician attitudes regarding it haven't changed much since 2004. Almost 41 percent cite lack of money/resources as a main obstacle in adopting new information technology, down slightly from 46 percent in 2004. Lack of adoption support from other physicians was also largely unchanged, from 18 percent in 2004 to 20 percent this year.