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Are search engines good or bad for physicians?

April 30, 2014
Healthcare IT By LW Consulting Inc.

By converting more records to electronic systems, practices may give their doctors the chance to become more familiar with incorporating the cloud and web use in general into their routine. But are all online resources equally helpful to physicians?

A recent report from MedData Group shows that, out of a pool of 164 different responses from the medical community, search engines are far and away considered to be the most useful internet-based tool, being favored by nearly 80 percent of the respondents.

The next most popular internet application was email for the specific industry, although fewer than thirty percent admitted to preferring it. Ten percent of respondents said that they didn't use any internet sources in their decision-making.

Interestingly enough, the report also found that more than half of the believed that patients can misunderstand information that they find online, leading to complications. But that danger could also be present for doctors who rely too much on sources they find through Google searches.

Fortunately, it seems that most of the sources doctors visit on the web using this tools are accredited, like whitepapers and studies. A different study undertaken by the Centers for Disease Control and published in 2012 found that nearly 60 percent of doctors use social networking, and more than 40 percent listen to podcasts.

It might be helpful for doctors to turn to the vast resources of the internet for assistance in their work, but it's important that they don't endanger their network by visiting unsafe sites or selecting the wrong material.

HIPAA software compliance consultants can help practices make sure that any new application they do use is done appropriately, especially in the wake of the oncoming new HIPAA compliance audit.