EHR vendor websites enjoy high physician engagement rates

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More physicians visit online healthcare professional content websites such as Medscape.com, but not as frequently or for as long as visits to electronic health record vendor websites like Allscripts.com, according to a new study from comScore, a digital technology analytics firm based in Reston, Va.

The study of 1,000 physicians, released Dec. 3, found that four-fifths (81 percent) accessed healthcare professional content sites geared toward physicians more than government, association, or social media sites. The physicians visited the sites an average of 14.6 times and for an average of five minutes at a time.

By contrast, while EHR sites had a reach of 4 percent of physicians, those physicians were more engaged. The average number of visits per physician to such sites was 18.4, with each visit lasting roughly 18 minutes at a time. The study's authors surmised that the interest in such sites was due to the move by physicians to EHRs and away from using paper records.

The authors also found that while computers continue to be the most often used device to go online at work, for physicians using portable devices, there was a preference to use tablets to access EHRs rather than mobile phones.

Physician use of EHR websites is likely to rise as more physicians adopt EHRs and turn to the websites for support and information. The latest brief from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 72 percent of office-based physicians now are using some sort of EHR, an increase of 26 percent from 2011.

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