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Clical IT gap grows between small and large practices

Physician Practice Advisor, November 15, 2006

Smaller practices continue to lag behind larger practices when it comes to the availability of clinical information technology (IT), according to a study released by the Center for Health System Change (HSC).

Although physicians reported increased access to IT between 2001 and 2005, adoption gaps between small and large practices increased during that period for three clinical activities-accessing patient notes, generating preventive care reminders, and writing prescriptions. The gap remained the same for two other clinical activities, obtaining treatment guidelines and exchanging clinical data with other physicians.

The study also found physicians in practices treating more underserved and vulnerable patients (e.g., low-income, minority or rural patients, and those with chronic conditions) generally were no less likely to report access to IT in their practices than other physicians.

Click here to access the study.