Academic Physicians' Assessment of the Effects of Computers on Health Care

Reference: Detmer, W. M. & Friedman, C. P. Academic Physicians' Assessment of the Effects of Computers on Health Care. Knowledge Systems Laboratory, Medical Computer Science, November, 1994.

Abstract: We assessed the attitudes of academic physicians towards computers in health care at two academic medical centers that are in the early stages of clinical information-system deployment. We distributed a 4-page questionnaire to 470 subjects, and a total of 272 physicians (58%) responded. Our results show that respondents use computers frequently, primarily to perform academic-oriented tasks as opposed to clinical tasks. Overall, respondents viewed computers as being slightly beneficial to health care. They perceive self-education and access to up-to-date information as the most beneficial aspects of computers and are most concerned about privacy issues and the effect of computers on the doctor-patient relationship. Physicians with prior computer training and greater knowledge of informatics concepts had more favorable attitudes towards computers in health care. We suggest that negative attitudes towards computers can be addressed by careful system design as well as targeted educational activities.

Notes: Updated November 1994.

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