EHR Challenges

Currently most physician practices in the US have transformed their patient paper records into electronic health records (EHR). Now that the dust has settled, what’s the level of satisfaction experienced by physicians? Results of two recent surveys provide interesting and conflicting information regarding the impact of EHRs on practices.

The results depend, in part, upon the size of the practice. Black Box, a market research firm in Tampa, received results from over 1,300 large physician practices. Over the past few years it seems that large physician practices are more satisfied with the interoperability, usability and productivity improvements than small practices. Between 2013 and the second quarter of 2015, physician experience satisfaction rose from 8 percent to 31 percent to 67 percent. Physician documentation improvements went from 10 percent to 28 percent to 63 percent. And practice productivity enhancements increased from 7 percent to 17 percent to 68 percent.

Evidently, the same cannot be said for smaller practices. AmericanEHR Partners recently conducted a survey on behalf of the American Medical Association, with 940 physicians weighing in. Compared to five years ago, more physicians reported being dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their EHR system. In 2014 only 34 percent of doctors were satisfied or very satisfied with their EHR system, which was down from 62 percent in 2010. Forty-three percent of respondents reported they had yet to overcome productivity challenges related to EHRs, 54 percent said that total operating costs had increased, and 72 percent “believed their EHR’s ability to decrease workload was difficult or very difficult.”

Large or small, many clinics are reevaluating their current systems and gaining a greater understanding of what EHRs can and should do. EHRs are a vital aspect of delivering healthcare in today’s medical environment and are here to stay. Both EHR companies and medical practices need to adapt to achieve the best results for patients because after all is said and done, that’s what medicine is all about.

InnovaHealth Innovations helps practices meet the future of healthcare. Roberta Kaplan MPH, MA, PA consults with practices ready to implement new strategies and respond to changes in their healthcare environment. To learn more, call us at: 503-341-0593.

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