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    Why is EHR use dropping?

    Today’s healthcare environment is increasingly interconnected electronically. That means that everything from writing prescriptions to giving injections to dealing with state agencies needs to be turned into data that can be easily collected and shared.

    In order for physicians to be able to effectively play in this new electronically connected world, the use of electronic health records (EHRs) is imperative. 

     

    Relate: It's time to get doctors out of EHR data entry

     

    “Along with this need for data, physicians can benefit from EHRs by being able to review things like medication histories from other providers who are also prescribing electronically,” says Stephen H. Dart, senior director, product management for AdvancedMD, which provides cloud-based EHRs for the independent physician practice market. “This prevents duplicate therapies as well as helps identify those who are seeking drugs or who are perhaps allergic to specific medications as determined by another physician.”

    The big problem?, Not every physician is utilizing EHRs on a regular basis. A new report by SK&A Market Insights reveals that physician office EHR use has decreased by nearly 4% over the last year, clocking in at just 59% between 2015 and 2016.

    While dips in EHR use were consistent across practices of various sizes, smaller physician practices saw the largest year-over-year decline.

     

    Further reading: Patients unhappy with doctors' EHR use

     

    Many experts feel that physicians who are still hesitant about EHR have good reason to be. EHRs have been difficult to use, outrageously expensive and decades behind other data sectors like those used in the banking industry.

    Next: Overcoming the obstacles

    Keith Loria
    Keith Loria is a contributing writer to Medical Economics.

    3 Comments

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    • UBM User
      "physicians who are still hesitant about EHR have good reason to be. EHRs have been difficult to use, outrageously expensive and decades behind other data sectors" BINGO!! You missed that they're designed as billing machines, not clinical, and none have made meaningful exchange of data between systems feasible. EHR companies have been running in to scoop up the dollars, deliberately locking users in by making it hard to exchange data. Docs can read the writing on the wall. Primary care NOW spends ~$50.000/MD/yr gathering and reporting data, with no compensation for it, no benefit to patients, and increased burnout among physicians. Now CMS is demanding more data, threatening to levy fines of $10,000/yr for noncompliance. Most EHRs are designed to look good to CFOs, not docs, and slow down rather than speed patient care. Docs compare $50k vs $10k and wisely opt out. As the fines get larger they'll opt out of Medicare as well, not because they want to but because CMS has given them no choice.
    • Anonymous
      Well said.
    • Anonymous
      Well said.

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