Take everything you have ever heard about technophobic physicians, balky computer systems, slow response times and tightwad finance departments.
Then throw it all out the window.
No matter what you may have been told in the past, physicians today believe in information technology. They are going online in record numbers, and their organizations are on board, too. E-mail usage is rising, investment in electronic medical records is soaring, and the phrase "clinical information systems" is no longer an oxymoron.
According to the sixth annual Modern Physician/PricewaterhouseCoopers Survey of Executive Opinions on Key Information Systems Issues, the dynamics of information technology in medical practices have changed. While few harbor illusions that a fully wired, seamlessly interconnected healthcare industry is right around the corner, significant numbers of the 436 survey respondents are getting more of what they want and need: more money, more speed, more usage, more understanding and more connectivity. And more is better.
The following pages contain detailed survey results and an in-depth examination of the issues, trends and challenges in IT for physician executives. Additional data and analysis are online at ModernPhysician.com.