What Percentage of Physicians Communicate Online With Patients?

July 03, 2008

In 2008, 36% of U.S. physicians reported communicating with patients online, up from 31% in 2007, according to a survey by Manhattan Research.

Twenty-five percent of physicians reported communicating with patients via the Internet in 2006, compared with 24% of doctors in 2005.

The survey found that physicians are more active when it comes to new media than the average consumer. For example, 83% of doctors watch video clips online, compared with 34% of all U.S. adults.

The survey also found that physicians who use online communities such as Sermo and Medscape Connect are more likely to be primary care physicians, female and slightly younger than the average physician. In addition, they are more likely to own a PDA or smart phone and go online during or between patient visits.

Results are based on a Q1 2008 nationally representative survey of 1,832 practicing U.S. physicians.

Source: Manhattan Research

And then there was a headline I saw recently, to the effect that "Physician Smartphone Adoption Rate to Reach 81% in 2012."

Hard to see how they reach 81% based on the Manhattan Research report from last year and none of the PCP's or NP's in my physician practice appear to use one actively, other than an ancient Palm device for checking prescription information and sending new Rx's to the chemist.

Academic oncologists, however, always seem to have the latest gadgets and cool tools judging from some recent conferences I attended. Last week I asked some what their favourite gadget was.  Universally it was a flash key, they can never get enough of those, it seems.

Most of the community oncologists I've seen recently at meetings, however, were still on old cell phones and desktop computers, not the shiny Macs and Blackberries preferred by the academic doctors.

They all thought my iPhone was a really cool tool though, especially the medical apps such as ePocrates and Medscape for looking up drug information.

Several companies were still handing out those little cancer regimen books. They're really useful, but what a missed opportunity to offer a free downloadable app with all the relevant information in it via a PDA though.

Posted via web from sally church's posterous