Surveys Find Physicians Have Mixed Opinions on EHRs

Two recently released reports explore health care providers’ perceptions of electronic health records.

Deloitte Report Details

Most U.S. physicians who use EHRs say the tools are not cost effective and do not save time, but the majority of those doctors still believe EHRs provide value, according to a report by Deloitte, MedPage Today‘s “The Gupta Guide” reports.

For the report, Deloitte surveyed 561 physicians from the American Medical Association’s physician master file. The surveys were conducted online between June 2 and June 23.

The report found that:

  • 75% of respondents said EHRs are not cost-effective and do not save time;
  • 70% of respondents said EHRs “provide useful analytics”; and
  • 60% said EHRs “support value-based care.”

The report also found that 56% of respondents said they were at Stage 2 of the meaningful use program.

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHRs can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

However, the majority of respondents said they have not benefited from the EHR incentive program. Specifically:

  • 68% said meaningful use has not increased productivity;
  • 58% said meaningful use has not helped patients distinguish their practices from others; and
  • 48% said meaningful use “does not support care coordination.”

Meanwhile, the survey showed that 90% of physicians expressed an interest in using mobile health applications, while 24% reported already using such apps.

Physicians cited several benefits to mobile health. For example:

  • 75% of mobile health users cited the ability to retrieve clinical information during patient visits, compared with 59% of non-users;
  • 72% of mobile health users cited the ability to researcher diseases, treatments and medications, compared with 54% of non-users;
  • 63% of mobile health users cited continuing their medical education, compared with 48% of non-users; and
  • 38% of all respondents cited the ability to remotely monitor patients’ conditions and treatment adherence (Frieden, “The Gupta Guide,” MedPage Today, 9/17).

Physicians Foundation Report Details

A separate survey conducted by the Physicians Foundation showed that nearly half of physicians who had implemented an EHR system felt it had a negative effect on patient interaction, Healthcare IT News reports (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 9/17).

The survey polled about 20,100 physicians (Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare, 9/16).

The survey found that about 85% of respondents had implemented an EHR system. Of those:

  • 47% of respondents said EHRs detract from patient-provider interaction;
  • 32% said the systems positively affect patient care; and
  • 24% said EHRs have made them more efficient (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 9/16).

In addition, the survey found perceptions of EHRs differed among physicians by generation. Specifically:

  • 41.7% of younger physicians said EHRs improved quality of care, compared with 26% of older physicians; and
  • 36.3% of younger physicians said EHRs pose significant privacy risks, compared with 58.4% of older physicians (Modern Healthcare, 9/16).