Smaller practices still behind in IT adoption

A new report suggests that groups of nine or less physicians are still way behind larger groups when it comes to adopting clinical information technology. In some cases, in fact, the gap between large and small groups is growing, according to new research by the Center for Studying Health System Change. From 2000 to 2005, far more large practices than small practices adopted technology for accessing patient notes, generating preventive care reminders and writing prescriptions. For example, during the five-year period studied, the number of smaller practices adoption e-prescribing climbed 5 percent, but adoption by larger practices grew 28 percent. If something doesn't happen to help smaller groups step up, clinical IT adoption could come to a standstill. After all, roughly one-third of all physicians work in a practice with three or fewer physicians, and nearly 20 percent more work in practices with three to nine physicians, according to the CSHSC. At the moment, however, few public or private clinical IT initiatives are targeting small groups, researchers note.

For more on physician IT adoption trends:
- read this United Press International piece
- check out this report from the Center for Studying Health System Change

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