Survey: physicians spend more time online for work

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Doctors are spending more time online, with more of their Internet activities devoted to professional endeavors, according to the results of a new survey conducted by the MD Net Guide and Oncology Net Guide series of journals.

Fully 50% of survey participants reported spending at least eight hours a week online; less than 10% spend two hours or less using the Internet.

Other survey results included:

  • About 60% of respondents spend at least two-fifths of their time online working on professional activities.
  • 38% of all respondents, and nearly half of those in private practice, reported having a practice Web site.
  • 88% of participants considered the Internet an important source of specialty-specific information, while 47% considered it to be very important.
  • The most common online searches were for clinical information (reported by 85% of respondents), online CME (70%) and drug information (68%); only 30% of physicians reported using the Internet to search for health IT information.
  • Whereas 70% of respondents participate in online CME,  physicians still prefer other sources of education—58% of respondents earn less than 20% of their total credits online, and only 14% earn more that 60% of CME credits this way.
  • One in five respondents did not own a PDA or handheld computer, and only 31% of physicians reported using their handheld to access the Web.
  • Surprisingly, 70% of respondents spend less than two hours a week “writing and sending e-mails to patients, colleagues, insurance companies, etc.”

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