Physicians report willingness to adopt digital tools

As doctors try to cope with work pressures and the demands of value-based care, enthusiasm for new apps and other technologies is growing, the AMA says.

Most physicians are using some digital tools and expect to increase the use of assistive technologies in the near future, findings from an American Medical Association survey shows.

The survey of 1,300 physicians from research firm Kantar TNS also finds high expectations for such tools as telemedicine, mobile and wearable devices, mobile apps and remote monitoring, as 85 percent of respondents believe these tools can help improve patient care.

Further, nearly half of respondents are enthusiastic about potential benefits of the tools improving clinical decision support, workflow enhancements and consumer access to care, among other factors.

For now, there is a gap between enthusiasm for technology and current actual use of it, the AMA survey found. For example, current adoption of telemedicine, remote monitoring for efficiency and remote monitoring for improved care was reported by fewer than one in five physicians, survey results indicated.

But 28 percent of respondents are using clinical decision support tools, while 26 percent are using patient engagement, 42 percent using workflow enhancement and 53 percent offering consumer access to their clinical data.

Also See: AMA enhances its interactive, geospatial mapping tool

“The AMA is dedicated to shaping a future when digital tools are evidence-based, validated, interoperable and actionable,” Steven Stack, MD, the association’s immediate past president, said in a statement. “To make this prospect a reality in the near term, the AMA is ensuring that physicians play a greater role in leading digital health innovations that expand the bounds of science, enhance patient care, shape a better health care system and improve the health of the nation.”

Practice owners may ultimately be responsible for decision making on what new digital tools to adopt, but other physicians expect their voices to be heard during the decision making process, according to the survey.

Some 45 percent of physicians who are not part of ownership want to be consulted on adoption of digital tools, while another seven percent say they want to be informed on technology selection processes.

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