According to a U.S. government report issued last year, only 56% of hospitals had received electronic records from other practices and just 40% of those had successfully merged the information into their own databases. Moreover, less than 10% of hospitals say they’ve been able to trade records entirely through their digital systems. As any healthcare provider will tell you, electronic health record (EHR) systems can be complex, frustrating, and time-draining. Many countries with some form of nationalized healthcare system are essentially entirely paperless with respect to patient records. Some more notable examples are Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, and Sweden.
Meanwhile in the United States, not only is adoption of EHR painfully slow, but the EHR market is highly fragmented, leading to interface issues as alluded to in the studies above. Medscape recently produced a report on EHR usage in the U.S., based on a survey of 15,285 physicians in 25 specialties. Here are some key takeaways:
28% reported using Epic, 10% Cerner, 7% eClinicalWorks, and 5% NextGen
Independent practices specifically, reported 12% using eClinicalWorks, 8% using PracticeFusion, and 8% using NextGen.
62% of those surveyed found e-prescribing to be most helpful.
57% stated that EHRs reduce face-to-face time with patients.
50% claim to have a reduction in the number of patients they can see.
Less than 1/3 of those surveyed feel that EHRs improve patient service, clinical operations, or collections.
No EHR had an overall score of 4 or higher. Nevertheless, 81% of those surveyed plan to keep their current EHRs.
Practice Fusion and Amazing Charts had the highest satisfaction ratings.
MEDENT, Practice Fusion, and Amazing Charts ranked top for vendor support.
Regarding the cost of purchasing and installing EHRs in independent practices, 41% stated they didn’t know the cost, 23% reported spending over $50,000, 21% reported spending $10,000 — $50,000, and 15% stated they spent less than $10,000.