22 May Why are doctors such Luddites?
During the course of a normal business day, Gregg Feinerman likes to send out Twitter updates. He’s just like tens of millions of folks around the country.
But there’s a difference: Feinerman is a Lasik eye surgeon.
“All the people working in our office are doing it, anyway, and I said, ‘Why not also do it for patients?'” Feinerman said.
Feinerman’s tweeting obviously is a rarity for those in his profession. More than a decade after the Internet went mainstream, only an estimated 17 percent of physicians have electronic health record systems.
The big trade associations representing the medical establishment, such as the American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association, can’t estimate how many of their members use the microblogging service, or for that matter, how many of them deploy consumer-facing technologies in their daily interactions with patients. But if anecdotal evidence is a fair barometer, assume the following: Doctors who grew up in an earlier era are likely to cling to their notepads and pens until the day they retire their stethoscopes. For their younger colleagues, by contrast, consumer technology is just another way to connect with patients.
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