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Survey Shows Many Physicians See EHR Benefits, But Costs Still Too High

Athenahealth, Inc., a provider of cloud-based services for electronic health records (EHR), practice management, and care coordination, recently announced results from its fourth annual Physician Sentiment Index (PSI), which each year checks the pulse of a national pool of physicians to gauge how they are feeling about various industry changes and challenges. Leveraging the Epocrates’ physician user base, Athenahealth surveyed 1,200 providers seeking information on physician awareness and opinions of health care and health IT. Results showed that 12.8 percent of respondents plan to replace or purchase an EMR (8.6 percent within the year), awareness of EMRs/EHRs continues to remain high, and opinions of EMR/ EHRs are generally positive. However, although EMRs/EHRs are perceived to improve patient outcomes, physicians don’t feel that the benefits are necessarily outweighing the cost. Independent physicians are more likely to feel this way than employed physicians, according to Athenahealth.

Social Media: What’s Appropriate?

A recent Viewpoint article in the Journal of the American Medical Association examines the issue of physician use of social media and whether or not physicians should keep private and professional profiles separate (JAMA. 2013; 310(6):581-582). In the article, the authors argue that physicians should no longer separate the two—in contrast to most social media guidelines to physicians that have been published to date, such as the recent guidelines from the American College of Physicians and Federation of State Medical Boards ( that recommend keeping personal and professional separate.

To help physicians make smart decisions about what to post, what not to post, and how to interact with patients on social networking sites, Kevin Pho, MD and Susan Gay published the book Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices earlier this year. The book offers insights from practicing physician and social media pioneer Dr. Pho, whose blog was named the web’s top social media influence in health care and medicine by Klout. The book provides a step-by-step guide on how to use social media to manage an online reputation, tips on how to respond to online ratings, and a guide to work with all of the major physician review sites. For more information, visit

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