December 2002 Bulletin
Physician Internet use steadily rising tools available to AAOS members
By Nancy Fehr
Almost half of all physicians say the World Wide Web has a major impact on the way they practice medicine. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the Internets rising influence on clinical medicine has propelled an increase in the frequency and duration of Web use among the 78 percent of physicians who now make use of cyberspace.
The "2002 AMA Study on Physicians Use of the World Wide Web" surveyed 977 U.S. physicians from August to December 2001 and is the AMAs fourth analysis of nationwide patterns of online physicians. Among the findings:
- Physician are using the Web more frequently. Two-thirds of online physicians access the Web daily, up 24 percent since 1997.
- Physicians who use the Web spend more hours online. In 2001, 7.1 hours per week was average, up from 4.3 hours per week in 1997.
- Expect more growth in the number of hours spent on the Web. Physicians are expected to use the Internet 9.6 hours per week during 2002.
- The percentage of older physicians using the Web is increasing rapidly. Physicians age 60 and older are one of the fastest growing physician groups using the Internet, prompted in part by the physicians grandchildren. In 2001, 65 percent of physicians 60 years of age or older used the Web, compared with 43 percent in 2000. Older physicians often use e-mail to communicate with their grandchildren, which tends to open their eyes to the Internet as a resource for gathering information.
- Approximately three in 10 physicians using the Internet currently have a Web site. The primary reasons physicians have Web sites are to promote their practices and provide patient education and information.
Internet-based patient education tools benefit AAOS members
As an AAOS member, you can leverage the power of the Internet to benefit your medical practice and provide orthopaedic information to patients. Learn about how you can use the Academys Internet-based patient education tools at the AAOS Resource Center at the 2003 Annual Meeting. Academy resources for members include:
- OrthoDoc Web sites and links to patient education articles: AAOS members can develop personal physician or group practice Web sites using the Academys free OrthoDoc Web site templates. Among the benefits of having an OrthoDoc site is the chance to add free links to easy-to-read, medically reviewed articles on the Academys patient education Web site, Your Orthopaedic Connection. Contact Mary Ann Nicholson (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the information services department for more information about OrthoDoc Web sites.
- "Rx for patient education" notepads: The Academys popular "Rx for patient education" notepad is handy, colorful and "prescription"-sized. Preprinted with the Your Orthopaedic Connection Web site address (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org), the notepads feature space for doctors recommendations or notes. "Rx for patient education" notepads help orthopaedists connect patients, colleagues and referring physicians with easy-to-read musculoskeletal information they can trust. Contact Nancy Fehr (email@example.com) to request free sample "Rx for patient education" notepads.
- Your Orthopaedic Connection quarterly e-mail newsletter: Published in November, February, May and August, the free e-mail newsletter provides links to new articles on Your Orthopaedic Connection. It helps orthopaedists stay informed when new patient education content is added and identify articles to use in their medical office. The newsletter also provides subscribers with links to information they can e-mail to patients and physicians. OrthoDoc physicians get automatic subscriptions to the newsletter; others can sign up for it on the Your Orthopaedic Connection home page or may send an e-mail request to Nancy Fehr (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Musculoskeletal Care Patient Education Collection: The Academys comprehensive library of patient education resources is also available "off-line" on a convenient CD-ROM. The Musculoskeletal Care Patient Education Collection lets doctors customize printouts for patients, including their practice information, notes and/or other recommendations. Three videos and information in Spanish and English round out the collection. AAOS members can purchase the CD for $69; other physicians pay $89. Phone customer service (800/626-6726) to order. (See Patient education CD-ROM debuts for more info on the CD)
Your Orthopaedic Connection records busiest month ever
Orthopaedists use of AAOS Internet-based patient education tools is helping connect a growing number of people with reliable and comprehensive musculoskeletal information available on Your Orthopaedic Connection. The patient education Web site has been accessed more than 7 million times since it began, including a record 499,146 page views in September 2002.
Nancy Fehr is a staff writer in the communications department with responsibility for developing content and promoting Your Orthopaedic Connection.