Many physicians use Google for diagnosis data

Survey also identifies several barriers to health IT adoption

About 46% of physicians frequently use search engines like Google and Yahoo to look up information on diagnoses and treatments, according to a recent survey.

For the report—which was commissioned by Wolters Kluwer Health—research firm Ipsos surveyed more than 300 physicians who belong to the American Medical Association.

Researchers asked physicians about how they obtained information for diagnosis and treatment and found that:

  • 68% of respondents said they consult professional journals; 
  • 60% said they discuss the issues with colleagues; 
  • 46% said they use search engines like Google and Yahoo; 
  • 42% said they use conferences and events; and 
  • 42% said they use no-cost online services like WebMD.

The survey also found that 44% of respondents said they have a long way to go toward embracing health IT and clinical decision support tools.

Researchers asked physicians about the barriers to adopting health IT systems and found that:

  • 40% of respondents said cost was the top barrier; 
  • 32% said the systems contain too much data and not enough actionable information; 
  • 27% said the systems are too time-consuming to implement or too difficult to learn; and 
  • 24% said it was too difficult to use the systems at the point of care (Hobson, "Health Blog," Wall Street Journal, 11/1; Goedert, Health Data Management, 11/1).

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