Electronic health record (EHR) adoption and implementation issues were ranked as the most pressing IT problems by physicians for the second straight year, according to the Physicians Practice 2014 Technology Survey.
As more physicians and medical practices work toward meaningful use of an EHR, getting the technology seamlessly integrated into daily work flow continues to be a main concern. Seventeen percent of the 1,442 respondents to this year's survey said getting an EHR onboard and fully operational at their practice was their top concern, followed closely by lack of interoperability between EHRs (16 percent) and costs to implement and use new technology (13 percent). It does seem, however, due to meaningful use incentive payments or other factors, that cost is becoming less of a concern, having dropped 4 percentage points from the 2013 survey.
For more than a decade, Physicians Practice, an online community for physicians and practice management professionals, has asked physicians and other medical practice staff about their technology use and issues about implementing tech tools to aid patient care. This year's technology survey includes data on various issues surrounding EHR implementation, including length of time to get up and running, impact on work flow, and whether or not practices would recommend their vendor to peers.
"Technology has been a part of advancing medical practices for years, but with the incentives tied to EHRs, the rise in telemedicine, and the growing trend of medical apps and fitness tracking devices, physicians are more aware than ever about how tech can help patient care," Keith L. Martin, group editorial director for Physicians Practice, said in a statement. "Our survey provides firsthand knowledge on what tech devices physicians believe in, how they are using them, and what they have their eyes on for the future."
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