RCHE Publications


The objective of this study was to assess the current level of information technology use by primary care ‎physicians in the U.S. Primary care physicians listed by the American Medical Association were contacted ‎by e-mail and asked to complete a Web-based questionnaire. A to¬tal of 2,145 physicians responded. ‎Overall, between 20% and 25% of primary care physicians reported using electronic medical records, e-‎prescribing, point-of-care decision support tools, and electronic communication with patients. This ‎indicates a slow rate of adoption since 2000. Differences in adoption rates suggest that future surveys need ‎to differentiate primary care and office-based physicians by specialty. An important finding is that one-‎third of the physicians surveyed expressed no interest in the four IT applications. Overcoming this barrier ‎may require efforts by medical specialty societies to educate their members in the benefits of IT in practice. ‎The majority of physicians perceived benefits of IT, but they cited costs, vendor inability to deliver ‎acceptable products, and concerns about privacy and confidentiality as major barriers to implementation ‎of IT applications. Overcoming the cost barrier may require that payers and the federal government share ‎the costs of implementing these IT applications. ‎


healthcare, decision support systems, electronic health systems, electronic presecription system, physicians

Date of this Version

July 2006