Physician Use of Web-Based Technology: Hype vs. Reality

Physician Use of Web-Based Technology: Hype vs. Reality

Linda Roberge
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-931777-01-8.ch013
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The Internet, particularly the World Wide Web, is redefining “how we do business” for the service and manufacturing sectors of our economy. In health care as in other industries, there is a growing pressure for physicians to create a “web presence” that will provide entrance into the realm of e-health service delivery. This research has surveyed 511 physician practice web sites to assess how the promise of the technology compares to the reality. We found that 94-95% of sites were using one or more site design elements, and providing educational content that would be attractive to potential patients. However, only 73% of the sites provided the professional credentials of the health care providers. Functionality that would yield cost reductions was much less common with only 39% of the sites using online forms to collect information. Automation for either scheduling or patient accounts was rare. Additionally, few sites had the infrastructure that would allow them to monitor site activity or provide secure transactions for their patients. Only 23% of the sites protected themselves against charges of providing medical consultations without seeing the patients by using a legal disclaimer. Clearly, this sample of web sites suggests that web technology is not yet being fully utilized by physician practices.

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