NORWALK, Conn., May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Adoption of electronic health records (EHR) systems in U.S. medical practices has reached an all-time high, as more than three in four U.S. physicians are now utilizing EHRs that they or a hospital partner own, or are in the process of transitioning to one, according to the 2013 Physicians Practice Technology Survey, sponsored by ZirMed. Physicians Practice, America's Leading Practice Management Magazine, is a division of UBM Medica US.
"The resistance to EHR adoption that had plagued private-office healthcare for 15 years has all but broken," said Bob Keaveney, editorial director of Physicians Practice.
What broke it is the federal government's EHR incentive program, under which physicians who adopt and "meaningfully use" EHRs to treat patients receive cash incentives — and those who don't will eventually receive reduced Medicare payments. Only 24 percent of the 1,291 physicians surveyed from November 2012 to March 2013 said they still had no EHR access, and about 30 of this group expect to adopt one soon.
The government's plan is working, according to the Technology Survey results: 62 percent of EHR adopters say they have already successfully attested to using their systems meaningfully in the first stage of the program, and have received their first incentive check, and 57 percent have started preparing for the second stage.
EHR adoption is a crucial step in the transition of America's healthcare payment system to one that pays for outcomes rather than for services. In order to demonstrate quality, providers need access to the data that EHR systems collect.
The systems are also supposed to make practices more administratively efficient, and therefore lower the cost of care. But on this measure the results are mixed. Only 57 percent of EHR adopters report that their systems have made their practices more efficient, and only 43 percent report that that they have yielded a return on their technology investment.
And as more physicians are adopting EHRs, satisfaction with the technology vendors is declining: 54 percent of physicians say they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the performance of their EHR vendor, down from 63 percent just two years ago. "Many physicians who have recently adopted EHRs have felt forced to do so, either by the government or their hospital," Keaveney said. "The systems will prove their worthiness over time, as practices adapt, but in the meantime transitions are messy."
About UBM Medica US
Addressing today's healthcare information needs, UBM Medica US, delivers strategic, integrated communications solutions and comprehensive reach -- online, in print, and via custom programs. Improving the effectiveness of healthcare through information and education, UBM Medica US provides unbiased clinical, practical, and business information for physicians, providers, payers, and patients around the world. Through journals, magazines, websites, online communities, drug databases, digital events, and other valuable resources, UBM Medica US also delivers comprehensive communication solutions for the pharmaceutical and related industries. Websites include CancerNetwork.com, ConsultantLive.com, DiagnosticImaging.com, RheumatologyNetwork.com, OBGYN.net, PhysiciansPractice.com, PsychiatricTimes.com and SearchMedica.com. UBM Medica US is part of UBM Connect – which provides marketing services across a number of communities, the largest of which are healthcare, medical device design and advanced manufacturing. UBM Connect also includes UBM Studios, the global leader in interactive digital environments. UBM Connect is a UBM plc company. For more information, visit www.UBMMedicaUS.com.
About UBM plc
UBM plc is a global events-led marketing services and communications company. We help businesses do business, bringing the world's buyers and sellers together at events and online, as well as producing and distributing news and specialist content. Our 5,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organized into expert teams which serve commercial and professional communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.
For more information, go to www.ubm.com; follow us on Twitter at @UBM_plc to get the latest UBM corporate news.
Jason J. Golden
Content Marketing Manager
SOURCE UBM Medica US