Study: U.S. Primary Care Docs Lag Behind in Health IT | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: U.S. Primary Care Docs Lag Behind in Health IT

November 5, 2009
by root
| Reprints

Findings from a Commonwealth Fund (New York) survey of primary care physicians in 11 countries reveals that the United States lags far behind in key measures of access, quality, and use of health IT.

According to the study, while other countries are making efforts to bolster primary care systems by investing in IT while simultaneously reforming delivery systems and payment policies, the U.S. is behind the curve, which is undermining doctors’ efforts to provide timely, high-quality care, it says.

Results of the survey, published online by Health Affairs, indicate that:

  • More than half (58%) of U.S. physicians said their patients often have difficulty paying for medications and care, and said they and their staff spend substantial time dealing with the restrictions insurance companies place on care.
  • Only 29 percent of U.S. doctors said their practices have provisions for after-hours care, allowing patients to see a doctor or nurse without going to emergency departments.
  • U.S. doctors are far less likely to use health IT that helps reduce errors and improve care. Only 46 percent use electronic medical records, compared with over 90 percent of doctors in Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
  • While all the countries surveyed use financial incentives to improve the quality of care, primary care physicians in the U.S. are among the least likely to be offered such rewards. Only one-third reported receiving financial incentives.

For more information on the survey, click here.



NewYork-Presbyterian, Walgreens Partner on Telemedicine Initiative

NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens are collaborating to bring expanded access to NewYork-Presbyterian’s healthcare through new telemedicine services, the two organizations announced this week.

ONC Releases Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed a framework to help health systems, large practices, health information exchanges and payers to improve their patient demographic data quality.

AMIA, Pew Urge Congress to Ensure ONC has Funding to Implement Cures Provisions

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) have sent a letter to congressional appropriators urging them to ensure that ONC has adequate funding to implement certain 21st Century Cures Act provisions.

Former Michigan Governor to Serve as Chair of DRIVE Health

Former Michigan Governor John Engler will serve as chair of the DRIVE Health Initiative, a campaign aimed at accelerating the U.S. health system's transition to value-based care.

NJ Medical Group Launches Statewide HIE, OneHealth New Jersey

The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ) recently launched OneHealth New Jersey, a statewide health information exchange (HIE) that is now live.

Survey: 70% of Providers Using Off-Premises Computing for Some Applications

A survey conducted by KLAS Research found that 70 percent of healthcare organizations have moved at least some applications or IT infrastructure off-premises.