Physicians Survey : Dissatisfaction, Gloomy Outlook and Fax Machines

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 The Little Blue Book… in collaboration with Sharecare has released their 2012 National Physicians Survey…. 

Not many surprises here:


 The Little Blue Book… in collaboration with Sharecare has released their 2012 National Physicians Survey…. 

Not many surprises here:

  • 40% feel that no one is advocating for them
  • 22% are talking “ACOs”
  • 71% feel that the quality of healthcare will deteriorate over next 5 years. 
  • 66% have difficulties integrating EMRs into clinical workflow
  • Practice management challenges are keeping many up at night
  • 1/3 believe EMRs will improve quality of care
  • Desktop is #1 tool for clinical workflow, laptop #2
  • 95% communicate with colleagues via telephone
  • 66% communicate with other docs via FAX!
  • 91% communicate with patients via telephone
  • 20% interact with patients via email
  • 22% believe internet searched bring in new patients, but only 8% feel there website is the  source
There are so many changes afoot — and many more unknowns in healthcare that it is not surprising that physicians are feeling the pressure … 
  • Healthcare Law up in the air
  • Value and/or Quality based initiatives
  • ACOs
  • More bureaucratic layers pushed by Payers.
  • diminished reimbursements
  • Uncertainty surrounding proper use of technology and communications tools in the management of clinical workflows 
What emerges as a clear need is simply the fact that physicians need regional and national specialty organizational leaders and general key opinion leaders to step up and provide information and actionable guidance  regarding many of the changes which are taking place.  From the perspective of the political and legislative climate, as well as on the technological front as well.  
These changes are not going away… the US healthcare market is moving towards “value” and “quality” based  models … at the expense of the current FFS model.  Micro-markets and carve outs are emerging in markets throughout the country.  It behooves many, especially in surgical sub-specialties to learn as much as they can about these initiatives as they could dramatically affect their bottom line in the not too distant future.  
Physicians are starting to embrace technology…. but who is engaging physicians and showing them that an easier, more seamless and compliant workflow solution exists to meet their practice management and communication needs?
  • Only 8% feel their website is motivating patients to call their office. 
  • Only 20% utilize email to communicate with patients
Solutions:  Establish a deep digital presence.   95% of online health related discussions take place without a physician being present. When ready and capable, root that presence deeply in social media.    These enable the basic tenets of outbound marketing efforts.  Take advantage of what a deep digital presence offers.  Humanize your Organization. Foster your relevance, Educate, Engage and help patients clear that windshield of doubt.  Embed enabling technologies such as Zocdoc, Avado and Twistle to allow patients to schedule visits at a time of their choosing, enable them to manage their PHI online, communicate with your staff digitally and provide them with a secure, intelligent email system which will streamline the communication workflow within your practice.  Physicians who are not interested in establishing their own digital presence, but want to try and build an online presence can consider participating in one of the many Q&A platforms like Sharecare, Avvo and Healthtap… although you must keep in mind the limitations of doing so.  
  • The Fax is not going away anytime soon
Solution: Consider Doximity  (and Clarity Health in certain markets) which connect physicians seamlessly to collaborate on a case, and also provides us with the ability to securely fax each other from within the platform.  This can be a great tool to stay in touch, share a complex case, or stay in touch with you referrers from the OR suite after your case is completed.  
  • EMRs have clearly not lived up to expectations and continue to lag in terms of providing a clear path to a more efficient and meaningful method of documenting a clinical encounter, and streamlining our clincial/practice workflows. 
Solutions:  The next iteration of EMRs are on their way… stay tuned for BetterDayHealth and Jora.   One day in the not too distant future the EMR could potentially live up to its expectations and truly improve the quality of the doctor-patient interaction and utilizing the data available,  improve the quality of care offered.  
There are numerous empowering and useful platforms and technologies available to help us streamline our office, clinical and communications workflows.   We simply need tactical guidance and best practice examples — and we need our local, state and national organizations to step up and take the reins as all the changes afoot unfold.  More than ever before we need actionable guidance!


Medical Social Media and Physicians

The Little Blue Book and Sharecare 2012 MD Survey






Learn more about Physicians Survey : Dissatisfaction, Gloomy Outlook and Fax Machines at Howard J. Luks, MD.

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