Docs eager to increase online training, education

Here's more proof that doctors are slowly but surely embracing IT in their daily operations: Almost 85 percent of physicians surveyed would prefer to participate in continuing medical education (CME) online, even though most of them still haven't taken the plunge, according to a recent study conducted by ON24 and MedData Group.

The study of 971 physicians of varying specialties found that while only 6.4 percent were actually using IT for CME, 84.1 percent said they'd prefer it, and a whopping 96.1 percent saw the benefit to it, such as the convenience, avoiding travel, and the like.

"We're looking at a significant change in how doctors say they use and want to use virtual technology," Bill Reinstein, President and CEO of MedData Group, said in a statement. "The results of the survey point to wider adoption and more meaningful use of online training anytime, anywhere."

Online CME can also be less expensive than attendance at conferences, especially when travel costs are factored in. Some CME has become so pricy that hospitals are helping doctors out with their CME expenses, according to American Medical News.

The CME study mirrors other evidence that physicians are beginning to turn to IT for a multitude of uses, including for research, communication and patient care. A recent survey by Kalorama Information found that the market for hand held devices has "exploded" as physicians turn to them to meet Meaningful Use and input patient data.

A study published in 2010 concluded that half of all CME would be online by 2016. 

To learn more:
- read the announcement of the study
- check out this Physician's Money Digest article
- here's how to download the Kalorama report
- here's the American Medical News article

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