AMA: Doctors want digital health tools for billing, diagnostics, patient safety

The survey of 1,300 physicians found that 85 percent believe digital health tools hold at least some capacity to improve care while other appealing aspects include medication adherence and reducing burnout among doctors. 
By Jeff Lagasse
12:26 PM
AMA doctors digital tools

Physicians want digital health tools that improve efficiency and patient safety, create a better physician-patient relationship, reduce their own level of burnout and make for better billing and reimbursement, according to a new survey by the American Medical Association.

Approximately 85 percent of respondents said there was at least some potential for digital tools to improve patient care; 31 percent said there was a "definite" potential. Those numbers were consistent across all subcategories, including age, speciality and ownership status;.AMA members and physicians younger than 40 years old were slightly more inclined to view digital tools favorably as well. 

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The broadest appeal of digital tools was in improving efficiency, patient safety and diagnostic ability. Using tools to reduce burnout and increase medication adherence for patients was more appealing to the younger doctors and among women physicians. Interest in digital solutions dropped off when they were geared toward doing something different with the practice — seeing more patients, for instance, or uncovering a new revenue stream. 

Physicians had a few requirements when it came to adopting digital solutions. Malpractice coverage, data privacy and workflow integration were essential, according to the AMA. Physicians also felt they should be reimbursed for the time spent using the technology. Most agreed that any tools should be easy to use and clinically effective.

To conduct the survey, AMA contracted with custom research company TNS to administer a 15-minute online survey in which about 1,300 physicians gave their input. 

Twitter: @JELagasse

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