A Changing EHR Landscape
Which are the top rated electronic health records (EHRs) in 2014? How are today's EHRs affecting practice operations and patient encounters? Which EHR vendors receive high marks? Are EHRs getting easier to use? Which EHRs rate highest in overall satisfaction?
To find out the answers to these and a host of other intriguing questions, Medscape's 2014 EHR Report included more than 18,500 physicians in 25 specialties. They include doctors who are part of a hospital or health system network using that entity's EHR, those in independent practices using their own EHR, and those in independent practices using a hospital EHR. Doctors in large, medium-size, and small practices were among the participants.
One overall result: EHR market penetration continues to deepen. Over 80% of the respondents say they now use an EHR. Another 4% are in the process of installing or implementing an EHR, and 6% plan to do so in the next one to two years. That should bring EHR usage to over 90% of physicians in the near future.
Those respondents who don't -- and won't -- use an EHR say that interference with the doctor-patient relationship, cost (including practice downtime during training), and insufficient incentives offered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for meeting meaningful use goals are the key reasons why they plan to stick with paper charts. But these doctors are a dwindling group. Others are nearing retirement.
For most respondents, though, EHRs are now a fact of life. In Medscape's 2012 EHR Report, participants were often relative newcomers to EHRs who expressed their frustration with the new technology. In our 2014 report, many participating doctors clearly are no longer novices. With experience, they've refined their ability to rate their EHRs in a variety of ways and can now tell us in greater detail how EHRs are changing the way they practice. Here are some highlights.