Doctors' opinions mixed on IT

February 2, 2011

As far as physicians are concerned, the jury is still out on whether health information technology (IT) will improve healthcare, iHealthBeat.org reports.

New York - As far as physicians are concerned, the jury is still out on whether health information technology (IT) will improve healthcare, iHealthBeat.org reports.

Thomson Reuters, based here, and practice management firm HCPlexus surveyed 2,958 physicians on their views on healthcare reform, including health IT initiatives and, more specifically, electronic health records (EHRs). Thirty-nine percent of respondents said EHRs would help patients; 37 percent said the effect would be neutral; and 24 percent said EHRs would have a negative impact on care.

The survey included respondents’ comments. According to iHealthBeat.org, a Colorado dermatologist said that EHRs make it “easier to keep track of patients” at different offices, while an Arizona dermatologist complained that with EHRs, “You cannot record your patient’s answer and still maintain eye contact and watch the patient’s body language as you proceed with the interview.”

The report concludes “greater attention should be paid to understanding the present opinions of the healthcare provider constituency before proceeding down a path of reform.”