Study: Medical providers failing to use Internet as a tool to provide better care

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One-third of Americans report that they are taking advantage of the Internet to manage their healthcare by using online health tools, medical websites, and online searches. According to an Illuminas study of 4,105 adults commissioned by Cisco at the HIMSS annual conference in New Orleans, 56 percent reported an improvement in their health management due to personal technology.

However, physicians are failing to take advantage of e-Health, participants said. Sixty-two percent said physicians don’t offer the online health services that they want, such as: the ability to e-mail doctors directly; schedule appointments online; check a website on doctors’ credentials; or access lab results via a secure website. Only 27 percent responded that medical providers have fully embraced the Internet to deliver health information and services.

"This survey clearly shows the Internet has become an integral tool for many to manage and improve their health, but it's also obvious that we have a way to go to maximize the use of Internet tools to provide better care," said Jeffrey Rideout, MD, Cisco's vice president of healthcare, Internet Business Solutions Group and chief medical director. "This is clearly a 'call to action' to the healthcare community.”