Medscape Survey Shows Huge Uptick in EHR Adoption

Medscape Releases 2012 EHR Report

On the heels of the release of Stage 2 Final Rules last Thursday Medscape (WebMD) released their 2012 EHR report.

EHR Report 2012: Physicians Rank Top EHRs is a result of Medscape’s survey of 21,000 physicians across 25 specialties. The survey ranks EHRs, how EHRs affect their practice, the impact on the patient-doctor relationship, satisfaction with EHR vendors and other key market indicators. Ron Sterling, EHR implementation expert, author and host of  The EHR Zone, lends his insights throughout the survey. “Incentives have put everything on the front burner for physicians,” he says of physicians adopting EHR. Physicians say to themselves “If the government is going to pay me to get an EHR, I can’t not do it.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 82% of respondents either currently use or are in the process of implementing an EHR.
  • In Medscape’s 2009 Reader’s Choice EHR survey, one-third of the respondents indicated they didn’t have an EHR or plan to buy one. Reflecting a huge shift in thinking, the 2012 survey results show only 6% of respondents said they plan to remain without an EHR.
  • Many factors were considered in the EHR ratings with “easy to learn” and “easy to implement” among the most important.
  • Whether  positive or negative only 5% of respondents said the EHR had no effect on their practice. More doctors said the EHR decreased rather than increased productivity. “Productivity often declines because the doctors are now doing their own record-keeping,” says Sterling. “A lot of times, the doctor never really learned how to use the system correctly and is fighting the system.”
  • The first year is typically the most difficult as the physician learns to integrate the EHR into patient visits. Of the physicians responding that the EHR had a negative impact on their practice, 82% said it was because they had less eye contact with patients.
  • 46% of respondents said interoperability was seen as a big challenge. “If you’re talking about within their own offices, if the practice management system is from one vendor and the EHR is from another, they won’t work well together, or the patient portal may not work well with the EHR,” says Sterling. “Between practices, EHR interconnectivity is still developing. We are in the process of building the highways between practices and we don’t have access to the highway yet.”
  • Attesting for meaningful use has become a major goal. Three-quarters of physicians either have already attested for meaningful use or are planning to do so.

View the complete survey, slide deck and findings. If you’re not a Medscape subscriber you can subscribe for free to gain access.