Accenture, the Reston, Va.-based IT consulting firm, recently conducted a survey of more than 3,700 doctors across eight countries regarding healthcare IT benefits. The study found that doctors in the U.S. are less convinced than their global neighbors in accepting the benefits of healthcare IT.
The majority of doctors in all of the countries surveyed believe that healthcare IT does provide some common top benefits, including better access to quality data for clinical research (70.9 percent reported positive benefits), improved coordination of care (69.1 percent) and a reduction in medical errors (66 percent).
However, in the U.S., there was a lot more doubt about the benefits of health information exchanges (HIEs) and electronic health records (EHRs) than in the other countries surveyed; Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, and Spain. The U.S. had the lowest number of doctors (45 percent) who said healthcare IT will improve diagnostic decisions -- compared to 61 percent globally. Furthermore, only 45 percent of U.S. doctors reported that technology leads to improved health outcomes for patients, against a survey average of 59 percent.
"The survey shows that more needs to be done to bridge the disconnect between physician perceptions and the U.S. federal government's goal of increasing the adoption of meaningful use standards," Rick Ratliff, global lead at Accenture Connected Health Services, said in a statement.
Accenture interviewed 500 physicians per country (and 200 for Singapore) between August and September 2011.