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Accenture Eight-Country Survey of Doctors Shows Significant Increase in Healthcare IT Usage
An Accenture survey among 3,700 doctors in eight countries reveals that today’s doctors are going digital—now more than ever before. In fact, the recent Accenture Doctors Survey showed a spike in healthcare IT usage across all countries surveyed (Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States).
The Accenture survey compares findings from last year’s survey to reveal prevailing perceptions among doctors today, and show trends across areas of healthcare IT. Based on this year’s findings that show increasing levels of adoption of EMR and HIE, the digital doctor is in—and is here to stay.
Globally, the number of physicians who describe themselves as “routinely” accessing clinical data about patients seen by different health organisations has increased by 42% (rising from 33% of doctors surveyed in 2011, to 47% in 2012). See the percentage for each of the eight countries stands by viewing the full chart.
Another key indicator of the overall rise in healthcare IT is the fact that 91% of physicians surveyed report that they are active users of electronic medical records either in their own practice or hospital/clinic. More than half of doctors surveyed (60%) report using an EMR in their own medical practice. This indicates that more and more doctors are going paperless.
Today’s doctors are turning more often to their PCs for clinical data. For example, the global number of physicians electronically entering patient notes “routinely” has overall increased by 14% in the past year. The US showed the largest increase in the number of doctors electronically entering patient notes either during or after consultations, moving from 58% to 78%, a year-on-year increase of 34%.
Globally, the number of digital doctors who “routinely” e-Prescribe (electronically send prescriptions to pharmacies) increased by 17%, changing from 18% in 2011 to 21% in 2012. Singapore (36%), the US (33%) and Spain (32%) showed the largest increases in e-Prescribing. England and Canada showed no significant change.
Certain countries also showed an increase in sending order requests to laboratories. Singapore had the highest increase at 75%, with the US following at 21%.
View a chart of the global healthcare IT functionality landscape.
Read additional findings in the full thought leadership.
According to the 2012 Accenture Doctors Survey, healthcare IT and health information exchange (HIE) are taking hold globally. It is encouraging to see that the rise of the digital doctor is happening in the eight countries surveyed. These countries have matured in either their routine use of HIE, and adoption and use of healthcare IT—or both—over the past year. Doctors in the US and Singapore saw increases in both adoption of healthcare IT and HIE from 2011 to 2012, and doctors in Spain and the US showed the highest adoption of healthcare IT and HIE for 2012. See where all eight countries stand on the maturity index.
The 2012 Accenture Doctors Survey also examined the differences in maturity between primary and secondary care doctors. The findings showed an increase in healthcare IT and HIE adoption among both types of physicians, particularly in the US, and also Singapore.
Learn about the digital disconnect in the full thought leadership.
There is a good prognosis for EMR and HIE. Doctors across all eight countries believe EMR and HIE enable benefits. The top four areas where doctors surveyed see the most positive impact are in reduction of medical errors (76% globally, up 4% from last year), better access to quality data for clinical research (74%), improved cross-organisational working processes (74%) and improved quality of treatment decisions (74%). The areas where physicians feel the use of EMR and HIE has had a positive impact are primarily consistent with 2011. See the top 10 functions where doctors perceive a positive impact in this chart.
The trend towards IT-enabled healthcare is expected to continue, as doctors continue to go digital. And as the adoption and usage of EMR and HIE continues to rise, there will be greater penetration of electronic health records. According to the Accenture survey, globally, eight out of ten physicians agree that they are committed to promoting electronic health records in their clinical practices—because they believe in it. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of physicians surveyed agree that electronic health records are integral to effective patient care today and globally, eight out of ten physicians agree that electronic health records will become integral to effective patient care in the next two years.
Although the maturity levels of healthcare IT adoption vary across the eight countries surveyed, there is one common denominator: doctors today believe in the benefits of healthcare IT, and therefore will continue to make it part of their practice.
Read more of the survey findings by downloading the full PDF.
May 7, 2013
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