PricewaterhouseCoopers Survey Finds Health IT Acceptance Up Among Providers

More medical providers are using health IT, but concerns about privacy continue to pose barriers to further adoption of certain technologies,  according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, FierceHealthIT reports (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 11/18).

Details of Survey

The survey was conducted by PwC's Health Research Institute and aimed at gauging health care workers' attitudes toward health IT. Researchers polled:

  • 400 primary care physicians;
  • 400 nurses and physician assistants; and
  • 200 chronic care physicians.

Findings

Overall, the survey found that access to and acceptance of health IT has increased significantly, while concerns about patient interest have diminished (Gold, "Morning eHealth," Politico, 11/19).

For example, the survey found that:

  • 32% of respondents said they review medical images on their phones, compared with 7% in 2010;
  • 20% said they use mobile devices to collect data, compared with 11% in 2010; and
  • 12% said they use mobile devices to conduct remote clinical consultations (Tahir, Modern Healthcare, 11/18).

Meanwhile, the survey found that consumers' attitudes toward health IT are closely aligned with those of their health care providers. Specifically:

  • 50% of consumers would use a medical device attached to a mobile phone for health examinations, compared with 42% of providers who said they would rely on those results to prescribe medication;
  • 47% of consumers said mobile devices could help clinicians effectively coordinate care, compared with 79% of clinicians; and
  • 56% of consumers would be comfortable sharing their data with other health care organizations if it improved the care they received, while 30% of providers currently share data with physicians outside of their practice (FierceHealthIT, 11/18).

Further, more physicians expect the use of telehealth to increase within their practices. Half of respondents said that within the next five years, 10% of their office visits will be replaced with virtual visits. Meanwhile, 37% of respondents said virtual visits would replace about one-third of their office visits (Modern Healthcare, 11/18).

Barriers Remain

Despite this progress, the survey found that continued concerns over privacy and reimbursement are barriers to telehealth adoption (FierceHealthIT, 11/18).

In addition, respondents said other barriers to health IT adoption include:

  • A lack of data exchange; and
  • Problems with state licensure regulations that prevent providers from practicing across state lines (Modern Healthcare, 11/18).
Source: iHealthBeat, Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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