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Utilization of information technology in eastern North Carolina physician practices: determining the existence of a digital divide.

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Department of health informatics and information management at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN, USA.


The United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has emphasized the importance of utilizing health information technologies, thus making the availability of electronic resources critical for physicians across the country. However, few empirical assessments exist regarding the current status of computerization and utilization of electronic resources in physician offices and physicians' perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of computerization. Through a survey of physicians' utilization and perceptions of health information technology, this study found that a "digital divide" existed for eastern North Carolina physicians in smaller physician practices. The physicians in smaller practices were less likely to utilize or be interested in utilizing electronic health records, word processing applications, and the Internet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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