Efficacy and evidence are two main areas of concern for physicians when it comes to new digital health solutions, according to a new survey from the American Medical Association (AMA). The survey builds on a previous 2016 survey of 1,300 physicians and explores the factors that impact a physician’s decision to adopt new health IT technologies. Physicians “are apprehensive about IT’s impact on payment, liability and quality of care,” according to an AMA Wire article examining the survey results.
While most US physicians are using a few digital tools today, primary care providers and physicians in “large and complex practices” tend to be the heaviest users when it comes to health IT, according to the survey. And while physicians want health IT solutions that will help them to enhance their practice by improving practice efficiency, increasing patient safety, improving diagnostic ability, and improving the physician-patient relationship, they need the tools to fit within their existing systems and practices. They also want coverage for liability, expert-assured data privacy, tech that links with the electronic health record, and billing/reimbursement solutions, according to the survey results.
Kate Kirley, MD, family physician and director of chronic disease prevention at the AMA, emphasized the importance of accurate and reliable data during a presentation at the Connected Health Conference in Boston, MA, according to AMA Wire. “We know that when physicians are presented with blood pressure measurements, they frequently don’t trust the validity or accuracy,” she offered as an example. If physicians are not able to trust the data and act upon it effectively, patient health issues will not be properly managed. “This is one of the key reasons we know from our research why we still have such a high rate of patients with uncontrolled hypertension in America,” Kirley said. “Accuracy of data is really important for physicians in using a solution.”
Key facilitators of health IT adoption include availability of additional training resources, access to accurate data, positive impact on care quality, and evidence base for the digital health solution. “All of these things really speak to the idea that for physicians to adopt a digital health solution, they need to feel very comfortable with the idea that this solution is going to help them take better care of their patients,” Kirley said.
Sarah Sheber is assistant editor/web editor at Journal of AHIMA.