Medical Economics reported physician dissatisfaction with EMR, in a very thorough article published 2/10/14. This is another reason why you want to be part of the NYIPA. As you read this article you will see that EMRs have cost physicians far more than they brought in value. In addition they have reduced the patient volume doctors can handle, seriously affecting profitability. The NYIPA will help you be more profitable despite the EMR issues! Emr may pose an opportunity for future expanded integration of holistic patient care; but, for now it is far from this goal! Here is a summary taken from that article and a link to the entire publication:
Here are other key findings from the national survey:
- 73% of the largest practices would not purchase their current EHR system. The data show that 66% of internal medicine specialists would not purchase their current system. About 60% of respondents in family medicine would also make another EHR choice.
- 67% of physicians dislike the functionality of their EHR systems.
- Nearly half of physicians believe the cost of these systems is too high.
- 45% of respondents say patient care is worse since implementing an EHR. Nearly 23% of internists say patient care is significantly worse.
- 65% of respondents say their EHR systems result in financial losses for the practice. About 43% of internists and other specialists/subspecialists outside of primary care characterized the losses as significant.
- About 69% of respondents said that coordination of care with hospitals has not improved.
- Nearly 38% of respondents doubt their system will be viable in five years.
- 74% of respondents believe their vendors will be in business over the next 5 years.
Don’t anticipate stuffing the genie back into the bottle. Despite doctor dissatisfaction EMR is here to stay. The goals of using EMR to communicate better between physicians is not unreasonable or something to avoid. If we are ever to contain the cost of healthcare and deliver better services it will come from a holistic approach to health care. This means doctors of all types sharing information to better asses the patients needs.
Right now EMR is a challenge but it is a start up of a powerful future potential, hopefully to come. In all start ups we have and expect challenges. But looking down the road through the effort of many hands we can site blue skies and a better future. Working with doctors in my community and other health care practitioners I feel I have seen the true potential of such a system as it may come to fruition. In my office we have encourage patients to do retinal photographic screening for nearly 10 years now. The outcome is the discovery of an incredible epidemic of arteriosclerosis. Even young slender patients in their 20’s can have serious vascular issues. Communicating with physicians and other health care practitioners in our community to enlist a cooperative effort has lead to a reversal in an increasing number of patients.
Preventing a stroke or heart attack or helping the patient avoid becoming diabetic should be the responsibility of every primary care eye doctor. Think of the vast savings for our health are system if we do this! Some authorities have estimated that over 70% of our medical expenses come from “heroic efforts” to save patients lives in their later years, when good outcomes are few to be found. Preventing these events should be a priority for all of us and that may be possible in the evolving system. Look at EMR, ACO’s and PCMHs as the tools for beginning this journey. It will likely be much bigger than any of us can imagine. It is not only doctors who have to be “accountable” but patients who also make an effort. It is not only patients who have to be accountable but a media and food producing industry that has to be accountable. This will be evolving process the potential rewards are breathtaking.