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Tapa de EHRs la lista de las preocupaciones por doctores

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | July 11, 2014
Keith Martin
Electronic health record (EHR) adoption and implementation issues are physicians' main information technology concern right now, according to Physicians Practice's 2014 Technology Survey. Out of the 1,442 respondents, about 17 percent ranked it as number one.

"There are so many factors that go into finding the 'right' EHR," Keith Martin, group editorial director at Physicians Practice, wrote in an email to DOTmed News.

Martin listed a number of questions physicians need the answers to including:

  • Will it do what I need?

  • Will my staff like it?

  • Should I use the same vendor for my practice?

  • Will it hurt my workflow?

"These questions cause stress on physicians and their staff both, during the exploration phase of an EHR," he wrote.

The pressure to be compliant with meaningful use requirements is also adding to their concern. Martin thinks that as hospitals move further into the stages of meaningful use, worry about adoption and implementation will increase.

"It may be because it is their first system, or because their first effort failed to produce the results they wanted and they have to 'court' a new system all over again," he wrote.

According to the survey, 48.5 percent of the respondents have not met stage two meaningful use certification requirements yet, but are working on it, and 11.2 percent might need to switch vendors in order to meet the requirements.

However, the costs to implement and use new technology dropped 4 percent since last year. Since more physicians are considering hospital employment now and hospitals usually pay for the EHR system, the financial burden is being lifted from their shoulders, according to Martin.

But if they own their own practice, there's still the belief that if they achieve meaningful use and receive incentive payments, that will cover some of the initial investment.

Almost all — 91.4 percent — of the respondents said that their EHR has proper security measures to secure protected health information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' HIPAA Omnibus Rule was updated last year, which put a greater emphasis on strengthening privacy and protections for health information.

Guarding protected health information is more important than ever and the fines for failing to do so are more expensive than ever, wrote Martin. He thinks that vendors are doing a good job at building it into their systems protection for practice, but that human error is inevitable.

"Having some technological safeguards is not only important, it's a must these days in health care," he wrote.

The survey found that 60.9 percent of the respondents back their data up securely on a second server or other method, 42 percent read as much about HIPPA as possible, 35.5 percent store data on a cloud backup service, 31.4 percent establish rules for bringing mobile devices to work and 31.4 percent conduct a risk analysis.

The survey also asked whether the respondents are considering telehealth technologies and 58.6 percent said they are not. Martin wrote that physicians tell him that it's still a fairly new platform of developing care and the reimbursement issues over e-visits make it financially unattractive.

There are also still issues regarding medical licensing across states. However, physicians in rural areas are finding it useful to reach patients who would have difficulty traveling to their facility.

"At this point, I think there more questions than firm answers regarding telehealth tech," Martin wrote.

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