Post-EHR Adoption Woes Plaguing Physicians, Practices

Jul 09, 2015, 12:05 ET from UBM Medica

NORWALK, Conn., July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- For the past few years, finding and adopting the right EHR sat at the top of most medical practices' technology trouble list. But now, with two stages of meaningful-use requirements behind them, and a third stage on the horizon, practices nationwide are having trouble fitting their EHRs into daily operations.

That's the consensus from the Physicians Practice 2015 Technology Survey, Sponsored by Kareo. When asked about technology challenges, 15 percent of the 1,181 respondents to this year's survey noted that a drop in productivity due to their EHR was their most pressing information technology problem, followed by a little more than 14 percent indicating interoperability between EHRs was problematic. EHR adoption and implementation — the top answer for the past three years — placed third with 14 percent.

This year's survey indicates other post-EHR frustrations for physicians:

  • 68 percent said their EHR has not produced a return on investment;
  • 37 percent indicated they are seeing fewer patients after EHR implementation;
  • 37 percent of practices have yet to successfully attest to the Stage 1 rules of meaningful use; and
  • 21 percent of respondents said their EHR vendor has yet to meet the Stage 2 certification rules (another 29 percent are unsure).

In the July/August 2015 issue of Physicians Practice, practice management experts offer insight and tips on how practices can overcome post-implementation issues to get their EHRs to peak performance to benefit staff and patients.

One of those issues plaguing practices is efficiently utilizing a key element of the Stage 2 rules: the patient portal. Forty-six percent of respondents to the survey said they do not have a patient portal. Among the practices that do have a portal, 63 percent said getting patients to sign up and use the portal is their biggest challenge, with another 17 percent citing work flow related to maintaining communication between practice and patient another major concern.

And with less than three months to go until the ICD-10 coding system become a reality, 26 percent of respondents indicated they are "not ready at all," while another 33 percent said they are not very close, but have started making preparations.

"Technology is great — when it works. And getting EHRs and related technology to work for medical practices doesn't stop at implementation, as is clearly indicated in this year's survey," said Keith L. Martin, content channel director for Physicians Practice. "So there are steps practices can take to move their tech from headache to helper."

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