Physician attitudes toward health information exchange: Results of a statewide survey

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This is a review of Wright’s article "Physician attitudes toward health information exchange: results of a statewide survey".[1]


Health Information Exchanges (HIE) are supposed to be enhance the continuity of patient care. It is an emerging technology and it is of high interest to increase the healthcare quality. However, like with any new technology, there needs to be awareness and adoption. This is an area HIEs may currently be lacking in, especially with physician groups. The purpose of the article is to assess physician attitudes towards HIE’s and their willingness to participate. [1]


The methodology used was a mail survey to physicians in the Massachusetts area. They were asked what effects they thought the HIE would have on healthcare cost, quality of patient care and time efficiency for physicians. They were also asked to indicate their attitude towards HIE as well as their concern for security/privacy. Lastly, they were questioned their willingness to pay for the technology.[1]


From the survey, they received 77% response rate. 70% of physicians thought an HIE would reduce costs. 86% thought it would improve quality and lastly 76% thought it would be more time efficient for clinicians. In regards to privacy and security, 16% expressed concern for it. Over half (54%) stated they would be willing to pay for the technology at an unspecified fee. When a specified fee of $150 was mentioned, only 37% said they would be willing to pay for it. [2]


Based on the results, many physicians believe HIE can have a positive impact in healthcare. At the same time, they expressed concern on the privacy implications it may have. Overall, the majority are willing to participate but some may not want to pay. [1]


There are many benefits of HIE. Physician awareness and attitude towards these benefits will greatly influence the adoption of the technology. Based on the article’s findings, positive attitudes exist as long as the cost is not too steep. Education on this technology and spreading awareness for its benefits appears to be key to adoption in the future. The other challenges to widespread adoption of the HIE is lack of standards of data definitions. Without these standards it may become very difficult for different EHR's to communicate with each other and exchange information.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wright, A., Soran, C., Jenter, C., Volk, L., Bates, D., & Simon, S. (2010). Physician attitudes toward health information exchange: Results of a statewide survey. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 66-70