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Study also Reveals Significant Technology Gap Among Healthcare Settings for Secondary Care
London; March 27, 2012 – England’s primary physicians are among the most advanced users of healthcare IT, but a widening gap in secondary or specialty care could undermine the potential for integrated care delivery, according to a new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The eight-country study, which includes Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States, also showed England had the largest gap among the eight countries between IT maturity in primary and secondary care.
“Although the use of healthcare IT functionality is widespread across England and it’s encouraging that physicians in primary care settings are leading the way in healthcare IT adoption, there is a notable disparity between care settings.” said Jim Burke, who leads Accenture’s healthcare business in the U.K. and Ireland. “Clearly more needs to be done in secondary care in order to develop greater connectivity across the English healthcare system.”
The Accenture study, Connected Health: The Drive to Integrated Healthcare Delivery, analyzed how countries and health systems are applying systematic approaches to healthcare IT. The findings are the result of more than 160 interviews with health leaders – including government officials, clinicians, health information specialists, academics and analysts, a survey of 3,700 physicians across the eight countries and extensive secondary research.
Connected Health Maturity Index
The study noted differences in IT use across a variety of care settings. In primary care, for example, Spain scored the highest overall for connected health “maturity.” In fact, according to the study, 58 percent of Spanish physicians are routine users of healthcare IT functions and 52 percent regularly participate in HIE. While healthcare IT maturity in primary care was higher in England (63 percent) and Australia (62 percent), primary care physicians’ use of HIE was significantly less advanced.
Within secondary or specialist care, healthcare IT and HIE are generally less advanced than among primary care physicians, with some exceptions, notably in Singapore. The study showed, however, that U.S. and German specialists were on equal footing with their primary care colleagues. The prevalence of HIE for secondary-care physicians was the lowest in Canada and Australia.
England Findings Compared to Other Countries The study showed that England had the largest gap between IT maturity in primary care – where it was a leader – and secondary care, where it lagged behind the other countries studied, according to the England Country Snapshot from the Accenture study.
Among the key findings for England related to care setting disparity:
Other findings yield interesting geographic comparisons:
“This study shows promising results among UK physicians, particularly in primary care settings, which is representative of the significant improvements in England’s healthcare IT and communications infrastructure. There are still barriers to full integration, particularly in secondary care.” said Burke. “However, the Department of Health has led the way in establishing online health architecture, which has begun to reshape the relationship between citizens and their health service providers. There is the potential to drive further progress in this area.”
Medical Data Shared by England PhysiciansAccording to the Accenture study, England is rapidly adopting HIE systems for enabling primary and specialty physicians to share and exchange patient data:
“Health Information exchange is progressing across some parts of the English health service,” said Burke. “But there is a risk it could be held back by the fragmentation between primary and secondary care settings. The study shows however that many physicians see exciting possibilities.”
Comparison of Country DynamicsTo assess the progress across the eight countries studied, Accenture mapped the innovations and efforts against six dynamics of successful connected health: vision and leadership, strategic change management, technology infrastructure, co-evolutionary approach, clinical change management and integration strategy.
According to the Accenture analysis, Spain led the other countries for the dynamics of its “robust technology infrastructure” and “co-evolution.” Singapore had the best performance for “vision and leadership” and England and Australia for “clinical change management.” Germany and the United States were among the leaders in “integration drives integration.”
England also was among the leaders for “co-evolution”, although fared less well for its “strategic change management” and in “integration drives integration”.
MethodologyIn 2011, Accenture studied the distinguishing characteristics of healthcare IT in eight countries: Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States.
The research entailed a literature review and more than 160 interviews with healthcare experts and health system leaders in the eight countries, including government officials, clinicians and clinical organization leaders, healthcare IT executives, and academics and analysts. Accenture also conducted an online survey with 3,727 physicians in the eight countries (approximately 500 each in Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Spain and the United States, and approximately 200 in Singapore), which provided comparative data on physicians’ use of different functionalities of connected health. The survey also captured attitudinal data on the perceived benefits of healthcare IT with respect to several dimensions of quality, access and cost, and explored physicians’ views on the barriers and incentives to encourage adoption and use. Finally, Accenture conducted further in-depth secondary research and consulted with academic and subject matters experts to compile a list of health systems and organizations that are widely seen to be leading the way in connected health. From that, it developed 10 case studies of health systems that represent the benchmark for good practices.
Learn more about Accenture’s Insight Driven Health.
About AccentureAccenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 246,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
Mark RadvanyiAccentureOffice: +44 207 844 5406Cell: +44 7770 704 email@example.com
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