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More IT could reduce demand for physicians, study says

Effectively implementing more technology into 30% of physician practices could reduce the demand for physicians by 4% to 9%, according to a recent report in Health Affairs.

Employing more health information technology (IT) can support the delegation of work from physicians to midlevel practitioners and from specialists to primary care doctors, the researchers said. That increase in efficiency could reduce the demand for physicians by 6% to 12% in any one practice. Increasing the amount of IT-enabled remote care and asynchronous care could reduce the care that physicians provide by 2% to 5% and 4% to 7%, respectively, the study found.