As patients increasingly seek health information via the Internet, physicians are also using online resources for much more than just checking email or for their EHR/EMR systems. Cardiologists now view having timely access to online resources and medical information, such as clinical documents, as an important contributor to quality patient care.
A recent CardioSurve survey showed a large majority of cardiologists (77%) believe improved access to online medical information and resources has improved the quality of care at their practice. Additionally, more than half (53%) of cardiologists have changed an initial diagnosis based upon new information that they accessed via online resources/support tools.
Although online resources and communication have helped their practices in many ways, still nearly three out of four cardiologists (72%) believe that the daily volume of online communications received from colleagues, care team members and patients is overwhelming. Furthermore, two-thirds of cardiologists (66%) said it is difficult to balance efficiency and quality of care.
Most cardiologists typically access clinical sites for information while they are at home (83%), after hours at work (80%), or in between patients (82%). In terms of helping patients at the point of care, more than two out of three cardiologists (70%) surveyed said they have accessed a clinical site during a patient visit. While a large majority of cardiologists (80%) are still using desktops to access clinical information during patient visits, the iPhone was the second most commonly cited device used at the point of care (43%). Of note, while most cardiologists (82%) use electronic health records (EHR) at their practice, these systems are not typically linked to online resources.
How effective are clinical web-based resources? More than two out of three cardiologists (70%) feel they are getting the information they need from online resources when visiting with a patient or between patients. A majority of those surveyed (78%) access online resources by directly going to the website they are seeking to consult.
ACC’s significant role among these online resources is also recognized by cardiologists. Cardiosource.org* is rated highly as an online clinical resource that supports their professional role largely because of the website’s coverage of clinical guidelines, education and clinical trials.
* Cardiosource.org is now ACC.org