Tuesday, February 21, 2012

U.S Leads in Adopting HIT

Accenture has released findings obtained from the year-long study “Connected Health: The Drive to Integrated Healthcare Delivery” that examined the impact of technology across eight country health systems. The health study among the largest ever conducted found that the U.S. is a leader in adopting healthcare IT.

The study included Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain, and the U.S. with results showing that the U.S is one of the few countries where healthcare IT penetration is nearly equal among primary physicians and specialists.

The study’s findings are the result of more than 160 interviews with health leaders including government officials, clinicians, health information specialists, academics, and analysts with a total of 3,700 physicians interviewed across the eight countries.

Among the findings:

• More patients in the U.S can access health records electronically than in most of the other countries

• The U.S. health system has more than double the percentage of doctors that provide patients with electronic access to their own medical information when compared to their international counterparts (8 percent is the global average as compared to U.S average of 17 percent

• More U.S. doctors send prescriptions electronically to pharmacies than anywhere else in the world. More than half of U.S. primary doctors (54 percent) studied regularly use e-prescribing to send prescriptions to pharmacies electronically when compared to just 20 percent internationally.

• U.S. doctors increasingly share patient data outside their organization to improve disease management with 44 percent of specialists and 39 percent of primary doctors and do this on a regular basis

• U.S doctors use HIEs for e-prescribing, computerized physician order entry, and for e-referrals

• The majority of U.S. physicians (59 percent) enter patient notes electronically during and after appointments

• Independent physicians were significantly less likely to make use of HIE capabilities as compared to physicians who are employed or aligned with larger health systems

“What is encouraging about the U.S. findings is that primary doctors and specialists are on pretty equal footing for healthcare IT adoption,” said Mark Knickrehm, who leads Accenture’s global healthcare business. “This balance and equality between the sectors is helping to speed the integration of care delivery across the U.S. healthcare system.”

For more details on the study, go to www.accenture.com.