More docs are using video chat for routine follow-up visits

A full 7 percent of physicians are using video-conferencing to talk with patients, according to new data released by Manhattan Research, from its 2011 Taking the Pulse study.

Most interesting, perhaps, is the study's finding that a growing percentage of what it calls "video chat" is not for urgent-care or acute-care consultations, but for routine, non-emergency follow-up discussions or answering patient questions.

Not all doctors like tele-conferencing equally, though. Psychiatrists and oncologists are the most likely to use video-conferencing with patients. And major obstacles remain for widespread physician use of telemedicine, the study shows. Top of the list: HIPAA security issues, getting paid for tele-visits and sussing out physician liability for telehealth-enabled care.

Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 physicians about a variety of issues surrounding physicians' use of technology, including EMRs, e-prescribing and electronic communication with patients.

To learn more:
- check out the HealthcareInformatics article
- read Manhattan Research's press release