Thursday, June 19, 2008

Does Your Doctor Use An EHR?

The latest statistics are out regarding the adoption and use of electronic health records (EHRs). The New England Journal of Medicine published the government sponsored survey report. Check out the article in the NY Times, "Most Doctors Aren't Using Electronic Health Records." (full report - Electronic Health Records in Ambulatory Care -- A National Survey of Physicians).

The article indicates that only 9% of medical practices with less than 3 physicians have adopted an EHR -- while the percentage increases to 50% for those practices with 50 or more physicians. The comments in the article by one physician seem to confirm a recent conversation with Jack Shaffer, health IT specialist, that EHRs don't necessarily improve physician efficiency.

West Virginia native, Dr. Brailer, is quoted in the article:

But the new study is based on a large sampling — more than 2,600 doctors across the country — and a detailed survey, making it more definitive than past research, experts say. The results, they say, also show a strong endorsement of electronic health records by doctors who have them, especially for what the report termed “fully functional” records, which include reminders of care guidelines, based on a patient’s age, gender or medical history.

For example, 82 percent of those using such electronic records said they improved the quality of clinical decisions, 86 percent said they helped in avoiding medication errors and 85 percent said they improved the delivery of preventative care.

“Those numbers are huge and very encouraging,” said Dr. David J. Brailer, the former health information technology coordinator in the Bush administration.

Dr. Brailer also pointed to the 54 percent of doctors without electronic health records who said that not finding an electronic health record that met their needs was a “major barrier” to adoption. In short, they are not satisfied with the existing products, which tend to be designed for hospitals — big customers — instead of small practices.

“What we see is a deficit in innovation, and that is something innovators and the capital markets can address,” said Dr. Brailer, who leads a firm that invests in medical ventures, Health Evolution Partners.

AthenaHealth is also mentioned in the article. Over the last several months I have been thinking about whether a web based service as software approach, like AthenaHealth, might be an method to grow the adoption of EHR usage in West Virginia as a part of the West Virginia Health Information Network.

The report finding that that most doctors are not satisfied with existing technology should give Dr. Parkinson via Hello Health and other health 2.0 innovators a positive sense of opportunity.

3 comments:

health-information said...

good information ^_^



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Raj said...

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I wanted to thank these nations for complying with International agreements or we will bomb most of your major cities.

If I am killed, then they will gun down many soliders, cops, thugs in broad daylight for all the innocent people to see.

J.A. said...

The computer your doctor accesses at your bedside will play a big role in the future of your healthcare. We'll discuss this dynamic as part of a larger discussion about healthcare reform at a Town Hall meeting on Dec. 1. Find out more at www.healthcaretownhall.com.