Doctors are embracing digital technology at an incredible rate and it’s changing the physician recruitment landscape.
Yes, the medical profession has long been on the forefront of technology’s latest wonders—from simple x-rays, to magnetic resonance imaging, to telescopic eye implants, and even artificial joints with microchip monitors. Yet when it comes to common digital tools we all take for granted, physicians have curiously been left far behind.
Of course, physicians carry the extra responsibility of protecting patients (and following HIPAA privacy laws), so things like basic electronic communications haven’t been part of the physician repertoire. Have you ever tried to do your job without email for a week? That’s what it’s been like to be a physician.
Fortunately, and perhaps surprisingly, times have changed. Physicians are no longer stuck communicating via fax machines straight out of 1990; and if you’re stuck on recruiting methods like “cold call…and call and call” or the job board “post and pray,” you can no longer ignore reaching physician candidates on digital platforms.
Recent reports have shown that as many as nine in ten healthcare providers are using smartphones, and nearly as many have adopted tablets. While most doctors are using these devices for basics like reviewing notes and e-prescriptions, many are using smartphones and tablets to interface with EHRs (over one-third of EHRs systems have been optimized for use on mobile devices). Physicians are also using smartphones and tablets to read journals and conduct Internet searches. Of course, if they’re on Doximity, they’re using technology to tap into their network of colleagues and discover career opportunities.
At Doximity, we wanted to learn how things like specialty, age, gender, and location influences technology adoption. So we recently analyzed electronic medical record adoption by U.S. physicians based on EHR Meaningful Use data (a set of standards defined by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service that governs the use of EHRs and allows the opportunity for complying providers and hospitals to earn incentive), and the findings are telling.
We discovered the greatest divide for technology adoption is among physician specialties. Gastroenterologists top the charts with a 30% average adoption rate, whereas psychiatrists come in at a meager 2%.
Age is assumed to play a factor in technology adoption by psychiatrists, but if you think Generation Y doctors (those aged 26-31) are the techno-geeks, think again. Generation X physicians in their 40s and 50s have the highest meaningful use adoption rates of all age groups.
When it comes to gender, there’s no battle of the sexes—male and female physicians have similar adoption pattern. However, location of physicians came as a surprise to those of us in Silicon Valley: South Dakota topped the charts with the highest physician and hospital adoption and certification rate, while California barely made the top ten!
As physicians become more and more tech savvy, are you using digital technology to cross the physician-recruiting divide? Have you asked physicians what devices they’re using to communicate with you? While you’re talking to physicians, ask them if they’ve claimed their profile on Doximity, too. These digital doctors will thank you.
You can download the full report here: