Small practices lag in health IT

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The degree of adoption of electronic medical records by U.S. doctors depends on the practice size, according to a study conducted by released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Physicians in smaller medical practices continue to lag "well behind" their counterparts in larger practices in reporting they use health IT in their offices. This variance between large and small practices persisted in two health IT areas: obtaining treatment guidelines and exchanging clinical data with other physicians. However, the study revealed an even wider gap with three other IT activities: accessing patient notes, generating preventive care reminders and writing prescriptions.

While larger practices appear to be gaining critical mass in adopting IT for patient care, smallest practices are lagging, even as they account for more than half of all practicing physicians.