|The Health Record Review
by Jeff Rowe, Editor
Posted on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 - 11:55 am
A recent survey has found that healthcare providers are progressing steadily in efforts to adopt EHRs.
But while broad-based surveys can often be interpreted in a number of ways, one way to view the UBM Medica US Physician's Practice 2012 Technology Survey might be as proof that the move to EHRs has finally taken hold in the private marketplace.
Two findings jump out in that regard. First, the report notes that “a tipping point has already been reached, whereby more doctors are using the technology than aren't, and the holdouts are now at a competitive disadvantage.”
Second, “technology vendors are responding to physician concerns, offering access to affordable products via the cloud and adapting their products for use on mobile devices, especially the iPad, which doctors are purchasing in high numbers.”
In other words, there’s now more than just the federal incentives spurring providers to transition to EHRs, and the technology is adapting to suit providers’ specific needs.
Money, however, remains a problem, as the survey noted that “29 percent of those without an EHR cited high cost as the reason, more than any other factor.”
That said, it seems those providers who haven’t made the move due to funding issue may not be influenced by the federal incentive program.
As Bob Keaveney, editorial director of Physicians Practice, put it, "The main obstacle for EHR holdouts is money, but among physicians, especially in private practice, there is also a deep well of skepticism – even resentment – about federal incentives programs that are designed to get doctors to behave in particular ways.”
It’s usually a bad idea to read too much significance into just one survey, but perhaps these findings are pointing to a time when EHRs will have been successfully integrated into the healthcare sector, and policymakers, in response to the “resentment” Keaveney notes, will be able to step back and let the private sector develop the tools that will enable doctors to provide the best care possible.