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Survey: Office-Based Physicians Positive about EHRs

July 18, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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According to a release from the office of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a recent survey of office-based physicians reports that most of those who have adopted electronic health record (EHR) systems are satisfied with their system and say it has improved patient care. The survey, which was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that 85 percent of physicians who have adopted EHRs said they were somewhat (47 percent) or very (38 percent) satisfied with their EHR system.

The survey found that 55 percent of responding physicians in 2011 said they have adopted at least some EHR technology in their practices. Additionally, it found a majority of the physicians said they would purchase their EHR systems again, further indicating their satisfaction with the new technology.

Most of those who have EHRs have reported that their system already meets federal “meaningful use” requirements to use certified EHR technology. Three-fourths said their system met meaningful use requirements, and the same number said the technology has “enhanced overall patient care.”  Approximately half said they had been alerted to critical lab results within the past 30 days by using the EHR system, and about 40 percent said they had been alerted to potential medication errors.

“Physicians are increasingly recognizing the importance of electronic health record technology to their patients’ health care and the efficient operation of their practices. When doctors use this secure technology, their patients get better care and more efficient care,” Secretary Sebelius said in a statement.

About three-fourths of the physicians also reported that they had accessed a patient’s chart remotely within the past 30 days, which can be important to patient care when a need arises outside of office hours or the doctor is offsite.

According to the survey, nearly half of the physicians currently without an EHR system plan to buy one or use one already purchased within the next year. This finding suggests, the report says, that an increase in EHR use is likely in the coming year.

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