New Survey Shows Latest EHR Trends

By Lea Chatham  |  July 9, 2014
2014 Technology SurveyThe Physicians Practice 2014 Technology Survey, sponsored by Kareo, shows EHR implementation continues to be the most pressing technology issue for physician practices. Nearly 17% of practices say that EHR adoption and implementation is the most pressing problem while another 16% say it is lack of interoperability, and 13% say it is the cost to implement and use new technology.

Over 50% of practices surveyed already had a fully implemented EHR, but nearly 20% don't have an EHR at all and another 10% are in the process of installing an EHR. Of the practices that don't have an EHR at all, about 25% say they are going to purchase one in the next 12 months. But the other two-thirds have many reason for holding out:
  • 25% say they are too expensive
  • Nearly 16% says they can't find an EHR to meet their needs
  • 11% have heard too many horror stories
  • And, 13% are struggling to get buy-in from all providers

  • Whatever the reason may be, practices can't really afford to put off an EHR much longer. "There are so many reasons to implement an EHR today, and they aren't all clinical" says Tom Giannulli, MD, CMIO at Kareo. "Reimbursement is changing and moving towards value-based models, which really requires an EHR. The ICD-10 transition will be more challenging without an EHR, and in general, having an EHR can improve billing and reimbursement."

    "Since we started using an electronic superbill in the EHR that can be sent to the practice management system, we've seen fewer errors and cleaner claims," says Theresa Jenkins, Office Manager at Appalachia Medical Clinic. "Using an integrated practice management and EHR solution has improved our billing, and we now have much more consistent cash flow."

    On the clinical side, Dr. Giannulli adds, "There are also many clinical benefits too. Having an EHR can reduce prescriptions errors and the need to reorder lab tests. It can also improve patient compliance by giving physicians the tools to educate patients and give them summaries of their care and treatment plan."

    According to the Tech Survey, just under half of those using EHRs say they have seen a return on investment and about the same number say they have seen work flow improvements. In addition, almost 60% say they are satisfied or very satisfied with the vendor they chose. But for many it has taken several tries at implementing an EHR to get there. Over 30% of the practices with an EHR are on their second, third or even fourth or fifth EHR.

    So many tries to get it right doesn't have to be the case for practices that are looking to install an EHR for the first time. With affordable, cloud-based solutions cost is less of a factor now. In addition, there are clear best practices today for EHR selection and implementation. The Small Practice Guide for EHR Implementation can help your practice make a successful implement the first time.

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