According to a new report from Deloitte Center for Health Services (DCHS), which surveyed 613 physicians on the state of healthcare reform and the medical profession in general, three-in-five physicians are satisfied with their electronic health records (EHRs). Overall though, physicians in the surveyed are concerned about the future of healthcare, with nearly 60 percent saying “the practice of medicine is in jeopardy.”
On EHRs, the view is almost universally optimistic. Along with the 60 percent who are satisfied with their EHRs, two-thirds of physicians say they have an EHR that meets meaningful use requirements and 74 percent say the systems are faster and more accurate for billing services. They also say the EHRs help save them time through e-Prescribing (67 percent) and help improve communication and care coordination capabilities (67 percent).
It’s not all positive though. “Nearly six in 10 (55 percent) physicians believe that the hospital-physician relationship will suffer as physician privileges are put at risk to comply with hospital standards for meaningful use,” the report writes.
In terms of patient engagement, 33 percent of physicians say they can communicate with patients using email or texts, 26 percent say their patients are directed to trusted websites, and 24 percent of physicians direct their patients to a portal where visits can be scheduled.
The view on the future of the profession is decidely negative. Six in 10 physicians say it’s likely that many of their peers will retire early. Yet the physicians understand where the industry is going, with most acknowledging the promise of accountable care. There was an overall positive vibe on the Affordable Care Act (44 percent say it’s a good start vs. 38 percent say it’s a step in the wrong direction).
Physicians recognize that ‘the new normal’ may necessitate major changes in the profession that require them to practice in a different setting as part of a larger organization that uses technologies and team-based models for patient care,” DCHS Executive Director Paul Keckley, Ph.D., said in a statement. “Affirming unique value of the profession, open communication and information sharing, structural features that actively engage physicians in leadership roles, and persistent sharing of credible data about safety, outcomes, costs, and patient experiences are requisite to health care organizations seeking a mutually satisfying, effective business relationship with physicians.”