U.S. Doctors Less Likely Than Global Peers To Cite Benefits of Health IT

U.S. physicians are less likely than doctors in other countries to report expected benefits from using health IT, according to an international survey by Accenture, Healthcare IT News reports.

For the survey -- which was conducted between August and September of 2011 -- researchers polled more than 3,700 physicians in eight countries about their perceptions of health IT. The eight countries are:

  • Australia;
  • Canada;
  • England;
  • France;
  • Germany;
  • Singapore;
  • Spain; and
  • The U.S.

Comparing U.S. With Other Countries

The survey found that 45% of U.S. physicians said health IT would improve diagnostic decisions, the lowest rate among the eight nations surveyed. Among all respondents, 61% said health IT would improve diagnostic decisions.

The survey also found that:

  • 47% of U.S. physicians said health IT has helped improve the quality of treatment decisions, compared with the survey-wide average of 61%; and
  • 45% of U.S. physicians reported that technology leads to improved health outcomes for patients, compared with the survey-wide average of 59%.

Rick Ratliff -- global lead for Accenture Connected Health Services -- said the survey suggests that "more needs to be done to bridge the disconnect between physician perceptions and the U.S. federal government's goal of increasing the adoption of meaningful use standards."

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Global Findings

According to the study, most doctors in all countries surveyed believe that health IT provides some common benefits, such as:

  • Better access to quality data for research;
  • Improved care coordination; and
  • Reduced medical errors.

Researchers also noted that physicians who routinely use health IT tools rated the overall benefits higher than physicians who use health IT tools less often (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 1/10).

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