This spring, a survey of 1,000 U.S. physicians working in practices of fewer than 10 practitioners responded to a survey on EMR plans from Accenture's Innovation Center for Health, assisted by the New York Academy of Medicine. What did that survey find?
First, the survey found that 58 percent of non-users intend to purchase an EMR within the next two years; anwhat's more, 80 percent of physicians under 55 plan to do so. In addition, three-quarters of non-users said they are intrigued by the idea of purchasing an EMR from a local hospital, if that purchase is at least partially subsidized by the hospital. Not surprisingly, perhaps, current non-users would expect a hospital or health network to subsidize about half of the cost of an EMR. And finally, and also not surprisingly, the federal HITECH legislation was cited as the key driver for EMR adoption among the currently paper-based docs.
Interestingly, while 51 percent cited the federal incentives involved in HITECH, fully 61 percent cited the penalties that kick in after 2015 as an incentive. In other words--and again, this should come as no surprise to any CIO--physicians are now ready for their EMR "close-up now, Mr. DeMille." The real question for CIOs, of course, is a combination how/when/what/why kind of question. In other words, how are CIOs and their teams going to move forward with their affiliated physicians towards optimal, and optimized, EMR implementations in the outpatient and office settings? What we've been hearing at the magazine is that, for every situation, a different response is emerging.
In fact, as I continue to research and report on what CIOs are doing specifically to help their physicians with meaningful use, for our September cover story package, I'm finding CIOs pursuing wildly different strategies. One simply has to note that this overall situation is just "so very healthcare," really. Even faced with a single clear imperative and reality--hospitals and physicians must move forward towards EMR implementation, and quickly, driven by a recent federal mandate--the incredible complexity and particularity of healthcare are leading to extremely diverse responses and approaches. AtHealthcare Informatics, we will continue to focus laser-like on the issues involved and bring our readers the best of thinking, strategy, and case studies from out in the industry, as our readers approach looming deadlines around HITECH, and strong needs (and now, desires) on the part of their affiliated physicians, for automation. How have your experiences been evolving? We're very interested to know.