Study: Docs Not Adopting EHRs | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: Docs Not Adopting EHRs

June 18, 2008
by root
| Reprints

Only 4 percent of physicians have a fully functional EHR system and 13 percent have a basic one, according to a study in the June 19 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The survey of 2,758 physicians — authored by David Blumenthal, M.D., director of the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital and Catherine DesRoches, an assistant in health policy at Massachusetts General — shows that 16 percent of physicians had purchased an EHR but not employed it, while 26 percent planned on buying one within the next two years.

The authors define a fully functional EHR as one that has a broad range of capabilities including order entry and clinical decision support. A basic EHR is one with a minimum set of functionalities such as recording laboratory data and clinical notes, and electronic prescribing.

According to the study, EHR use is much more prevalent among younger physicians, primary care physicians, and physicians in larger practices, hospitals and medical centers, and is more widespread in the Western part of the United States. Two-thirds of physicians without EHRs cited affordability as the reason. Other reasons included finding the right EHR, concern about return on investment, and that the system will become obsolete quickly.

Physicians who use electronic records report being satisfied, with large majorities saying it helped improve the quality of clinical decisions, helped them communicate more effectively with other providers, and facilitated prescription refills and avoidance of medical errors. Having a full electronic record also had positive effects on the delivery of chronic and preventive care, helped doctors avoid problematic medication interactions, and promoted more efficient ordering of critical lab tests, they indicated. One in five physicians expressed reservations about ease of use and reliability of their systems.

According to the authors, further adoption may be enhanced by helping doctors buy an EHR either through loans, incentive programs, or directly paying them, as well as protecting them from personal liability for record tampering by external parties.

For copies of the survey, contact Isha Mehmood.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Circulation, Buoy Health Collaborate on Integrated Platform for Patient Transportation

Boston-based startup Circulation Health, a ride-ordering exchange that coordinates medical transportation logistics using Lyft and other transportation partners, is partnering with Buoy Health, also based in Boston, to integrate their platforms to provide patients with an end-to-end healthcare experience.

HITRUST Provides NIST Cybersecurity Framework Certification

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), security and privacy standards development and accreditation organization, announced this week a certification program for the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (Framework).

Report: Interoperability in NHS England Faces Similar Barriers as U.S. Healthcare

Electronic patient record interoperability in NHS England is benefiting patient care, but interoperability efforts are facing barriers, including limited data sharing and cumbersome processes falling outside of the clinician workflow, according to a KLAS Research report.