TECH: Physician IT use growing but not that fast

The conventional wisdom among the three of us who care is that physician clinical IT use is climbing among docs in big groups (really taking off 2003 onwards), but at a slower rate amongst other docs. A new survey from HSC that looks at physician IT use in another way seems to confirm that. But frankly it’s written in a way that makes it a little confusing, and I suspect that the key question about “Accessing patient notes, medication lists or problem lists” means that physicians can be doing that in a hospital, which is why it’s at 50%, but they probably aren’t using a computer to generate notes or orders.

The availability of ePrescribing is at 20%….given that these numbers are about “availability in the practice” not about actual use, it’s fair to assume that the 15% number I’ve been using for eRx is still about right.

But the conclusion makes sense.

On an annual basis, the proportion of physicians with IT for the various clinical activities examined increased an average of between 1 and 4 percentage points a year. The fairly slow average year-to-year growth and the significant proportion of physicians that continue to have only limited access to clinical IT suggest that physicians as a group have not yet reached a tipping point in the adoption of IT for most clinical activities.


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