The Role of Computer Use in Different Medical Specialties

Published in: Psychiatric Services, v. 52, no. 4, Apr. 2001, p. 443

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2000

by Roland Sturm

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Health-related Web sites are among the most visited sites on the Internet, and their use may change the patient-provider relationship. This column addresses the effect of computers on obtaining clinical data and treatment information among physicians in different specialties using data from the Community Tracking Study physician survey, which surveyed active physicians (psychiatrists, other medical and surgical specialists, and primary care physicians) in the United States between August 1996 and August 1997. Some psychiatrists had concerns about breaches of confidentiality that could limit the use of computers for obtaining or keeping clinical data. However, confidentiality concerns should have no impact on the use of computers to keep up with new information about treatments.

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