Study: Most Physicians Access Association Websites

The new research, which analyzed physicians’ online behavior, also confirmed the growing popularity of mobile devices among doctors.

Association websites reached 61 percent of physicians in the first quarter of 2012, according to a new study by comScore, which also found that more than half of physicians are interested in using mobile devices in the workplace.

… they were among the first professionals to recognize the possibilities in iPads and tablets.

The research—which comprised data from comScore/Symphony Health Care Professional Measurement Solutions and a survey of physicians’ attitudes toward mobile devices—found that healthcare professional (HCP) websites, which offer content or services specifically for physicians, reached the highest percentage of physicians (81 percent) during the first quarter of this year.

Physicians spent more time  (6.9 minutes compared to 5.1 minutes) on association websites than HCP sites, but the average number of visits per physician to association sites was much lower (4.8 compared to 14.6) than for HCP sites.

The study also found that physicians spent the most time—18 minutes—on electronic medical records sites, but these sites reached the fewest physicians: Just 4 percent of respondents said they visited them.

According to the Physician Mobile Survey of about 300 U.S. doctors, more than three-quarters of respondents said they use their computers every day to access health content online. Sixty percent said they use mobile phones, and 44 percent use tablets, on a daily basis.

More physicians—64 percent versus 55 percent—preferred to use a tablet over a mobile phone, which suggests tablet adoption will continue to grow. The most-accessed information on a tablet was medical news, drug information, and disease treatment options.

Many healthcare associations are already aware of physician’s increasing use of mobile devices and are rethinking how they provide content online.

“Our members—physicians—adopted email more slowly than their peers, and they don’t love social (yet), but they were among the first professionals to recognize the possibilities in iPads and tablets,” Frank Fortin of the Massachusetts Medical Society wrote in a recent blog post.

Fortin, MMS’s chief digital strategist and communications director, added that half of the organization’s email opens are on mobile devices, which is why it is reassessing its mobile-friendliness and launching a new responsive-design website in March.

The uptick in physicians’ mobile device usage “was an obvious mandate for us to change and meet that demand,” Fortin said.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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