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Docs Say EMR Integration is a Challenge

June 25, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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According to a new survey from the people behind the practice referral service, the little blue book and Sharecare, an interactive, social Q&A platform, doctors today are having trouble integrating their EMRs. The survey, the 2012 National Physicians Survey, found that 66 percent of physicians say the integration of EMRs are among their practice challenges, even with 66 percent of physicians acknowledging EMRs will at least improve or have a neutral effect on their future business.

In addition, almost one out of three doctors (30 percent) are using laptops regularly for e-prescribing, EMRs and more. Almost a quarter (20 percent) are using Smartphones and 12 percent, iPads, for clinical needs.

The survey also found how the changing landscape is affecting solo practitioners, as 22 percent of physicians said they are in talks to join an accountable care organization (up from 12 percent last year). Only 17 percent of the respondents were unfamiliar with the ACO term, down from 45 percent last year.

On a more negative note, because they will be burdened by obtaining reimbursements from insurers (81 percent) and patient approvals (77 percent), most doctors (71 percent) believe the quality of healthcare will deteriorate over the next five years.

"Physicians today are practicing in a healthcare environment that they never could have predicted much less prepared for," Keith Steward, M.D., senior vice president of medical affairs at Sharecare, said in a statement. "This year's National Physicians Survey provides valuable insight into the frustrations and opportunities of the day-to-day management of practices, administration tools doctors use, and how communication with both colleagues and patients is evolving.”

The second annual National Physicians Survey examined 1,190 U.S. practitioners representing more than 75 medical specialties.

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