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.
“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.