EMR slow on the up take, study finds

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Manhattan Research this week unveiled its annual multi-client study, Taking the Pulse v5.0: Physicians and Emerging Information Technologies. The study is an advisory service which looks at physician information technology (IT) trends.
   
The study's main finding is that physicians are in fact increasing their usage of IT, especially at the point of care but also in their practices. In 2002 114,000 physicians stated that technology is a vital part of their business, but this has grown to 380,000, according to this new study.
   
The study highlights the use of certain technologies such as eRM (electronic relationship marketing), EMR (electronic medical records), eDetailing (electronics detailing) which are electronic channels to marketing materials, email, and eCME (electronic continuing medical education) which are all growing to greater or lesser degrees.
   
Most notably, though EMR usage is growing it remains sluggish, the study finds, with only 20 percent of the general physician population utilizing it despite what is described as constant promotion of the technology as the future of digital medicine, Manhattan Research said.

As with all industries, the use of e-mail is becoming the preferred means of communicating within the health system for physicians. One-third of physicians in the study claimed to also use email with at least 10 percent of their patients, Manhattan Research said.