Peter Basch, MD
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Basch P.; Saving Office Practice. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140:845. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-140-10-200405180-00014
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(10):845.
TO THE EDITOR:
In his recent editorial (1), Dr. Sox calls attention to the decline of interest in office practice and the potential to help reverse this disturbing trend by improving operational efficiency through the use of information technology. This use of information technology, making practice less burdensome and costly, holds the keys to physician adoption and revitalization of interest in office practice and will help to pave the way for quantum improvements in quality.
Development of clinical information technology has been primarily focused on the lofty goals of increasing quality and safety. While laudable, this tact has failed to move physicians beyond single-digit adoption. The barrier is not technology, but business case. Without a changed reimbursement structure that creates a sustainable business case for quality and information management, the insertion of information technology of this type typically results in added time, cost, and complexity for the doctor while delivering benefit almost exclusively to payers (2). Thus, without initial creation of a business case, the imposition of information technology may actually push more doctors away from office practice. However, recasting information technology as a tool to truly enhance throughput, as Dr. Sox suggests, should attract physicians to the same tools that, once adopted, can also be used to improve quality.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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