|VIP Panel: Barriers to the
Internet in Medicine (eCare) and Possible Solutions -
Robert Pretlow, MD - Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Utilization of Internet technology
in patient/client care (eCare) has progressed little since MedNet
first convened 10 years ago. Intel Corporation has stated,
“The healthcare industry is behind even the trucking
industry in implementation of information technology .” A
newly published study reveals that only 2.9% of 4203
physicians surveyed use email frequently with patients, even
though consumers desire such, and most other professions use
email routinely with clients . Moreover, physicians
routinely use email for all professional activities except
for communication with patients. Use of more advanced
Internet technology in medicine, e.g. patient home
monitoring, is also negligible. What are the reasons for
such low use of Internet technology for patient care?
Reimbursement for eCare in the U.S.
and most other countries is almost nil. A few Blue Cross /
Blue Shield groups are reimbursing in limited amounts for
non-urgent online consultations, but only for specific
vendor applications. A survey of 52 Seattle physicians found
that 88.4% would use the Internet for patient care, and 75%
would use Internet home monitoring, if they were reimbursed
. In addition to reimbursement issues, the physicians
listed time constraints, data overload, privacy and
confidentiality concerns, liability fears, interstate
licensure issues, patient Internet access (the "digital
divide"), and provider/patient computer knowledge as
barriers to eCare.
This special panel will explore the impediments to
eCare and what
solutions are available.
Confirmed speakers are:
Robert Pretlow, MD, CEO, eHealth International -
Bill Crounse, MD, Healthcare Industry Director,
Mark Blatt MD, MBA, Director of Global
Healthcare Strategies, Intel Corp.
John Tooker, MD, CEO,
American College of Physicians
Nancy Davenport-Ennis, CEO, National Patient
Jonathan Linkous, Executive Director,
American Telemedicine Association
Carol M. Stock, JD,
MN, RN, Carol M. Stock & Associates, eHealth Legal Services
Invited, but unconfirmed speakers, include:
Senator Maria Cantwell - will send a representative from the
Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, Administrator, U.S.
Tom Richards, Senior Vice
President Product, CIGNA Healthcare
Larry Leisure, Senior
Vice President, Kaiser Permanente
The session will consist of 15 minutes of
prepared remarks by each panelist, followed by 30 minutes of
open discussion with the audience.
A list of action items
will be compiled to address the current obstacles to
utilization of eCare.
1. McGeady, S.,
Vice President, Director, Intel Internet Health Initiative,
Intel Corporation, 1999.
2. Brooks, R, Menachemi,
N., Physicians’ Use of Email With Patients: Factors
Influencing Electronic Communication and Adherence to Best
Practices, Volume 8, Issue 1, Article e2.
C., Provider Use and Views of the Internet in Medical
Practice, MedNet 2005.