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Clinical Information Technology Gaps Persist Among Physicians

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Publication Date: November 2006

Publisher(s): Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): Joy M. Grossman; Marie C. Reed

Series: Issue Brief No. 106

Topic: Health (Health services administration)

Type: Brief

Abstract:

Physicians in smaller practices continue to lag well behind physicians in larger practices in reporting the availability of clinical information technology (IT) in their offices, according to a new national study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). The proportion of physicians reporting access to IT for each of five clinical activities increased across all practice settings between 2000-01 and 2004-05. Adoption gaps between small and large practices persisted, however, for two of the clinical activities—obtaining treatment guidelines and exchanging clinical data with other physicians—and widened for the other three—accessing patient notes, generating preventive care reminders and writing prescriptions. In contrast, clinical IT was generally as likely or more likely to be available to physicians in practices treating larger proportions of vulnerable and underserved patients as other physicians, a pattern that did not change between the two periods.