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Epocrates Survey Identifies Trends in Online Resource Use Among Physicians

Internet access becomes an increasingly important part of patient consultations.

San Mateo, CA (PRWEB) November 18, 2008 -- A new survey reveals physicians are accessing online clinical resources more than ever, and 75 percent prefer to obtain information from professional websites rather than through Internet searches. Epocrates, Inc., developer of mobile and online decision support resources, conducted this nationwide survey to evaluate the impact online resources have on patient communication and care.

More than 500 physician respondents validated that online resources are helping improve patient safety, keeping up to date and even saving their patients money, which is crucial in this economic climate. The survey found that through online resources, such as Epocrates Online, physicians are:

  • Making technology a part of the consultation - Today's doctors are using technology to check drug dosing, side effects, interactions or treatment guidelines during patient visits. Nearly 50 percent of physicians report they most frequently use the Internet during patient consultations, rather than between patient visits or after hours.
  • Enhancing patient visits - Nearly 90 percent of physicians strongly agreed or agreed that accessing clinical information online improves patient satisfaction and communication. Specifically, physicians reported the use of an online resource helped:
  • o   increase medication compliance
    o   decrease pharmacy callbacks
    o   patients appear more at ease
    o   some patients disclose information physicians would have not otherwise known
  • Saving money with generics - Seventy percent of physicians have prescribed a lower cost or generic medication for a patient in the last month using the drug pricing or coverage features available on Epocrates Online. Furthermore, one-in-five physicians report saving their patients money 10 or more times in the four-week period.
Technology is becoming more prevalent in clinical practices, with 97 percent of survey respondents reporting computer access at their practice or institution, and more than 50 percent working at a wireless facility. Approximately 75 percent of physicians report going online more today than a year ago. More than 70 percent go online for clinical information at least once a day, of which nearly 20 percent report using web-based resources five or more times per day.

Advice from Dr. Anne Meneghetti to physicians interacting with patients while using technology can be viewed on YouTube at

Epocrates conducted the survey among 501 U.S. physicians who have used its online reference within the past two months. For full survey results or to speak with a physician about using online resources in practice, please contact pr @

Epocrates is a leading provider of clinical information and decision support tools to healthcare professionals. Epocrates currently has more than 500,000 active subscribers worldwide, including more than one in four U.S. physicians and more than one in three U.S. medical students. The company's subscription-based services enable healthcare professionals to make more informed medical decisions, reduce medical errors and practice more efficiently. For more information about Epocrates, please visit


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