On the popular site Technorati, Patrick Malone discusses the “Slow Evolution” of EMR in a recent article. He writes:
“Despite a vigorous campaign by the federal government and some large health-care providers to move the nation’s patient records from the Jurassic Age of paper to the Electronic Age of digital communication, most physicians and clinics have been slow to embrace the transfer.”
Among the impediments to EMR acceptance among doctors, he cites patient privacy concerns and lack of uniformity between medical record systems.
Read more on Technorati
Physicians who are just starting out, as well as those who are more experienced can embrace and benefit from the implementation of electronic medical records.
“If you have a practice that you want to transition to someone or perhaps sell, EHR is actually a very smart investment because you’ve essentially established a foundation for a modern practice,” says consultant Bruce Kleaveland.
Cost is the reason that most physicians hesitate to implement electronic health records, according to Miami physician Dr. Arnold Oper, who has been in practice for about 53 years. “They can’t see the jump of cost-effectiveness” says Dr. Oper.
Last summer, 111 plastic surgeons responded to an ASPS survey regarding Health Information Technology and Electronic Health Records (HIT/EHR). The survey found that plastic surgeon’s use of the technology was “lighter than expected.”
The ASPS task force that conducted this survey and research on plastic surgery EHR encouraged more plastic surgeons to embrace electronic health records and its associated technology.
Their survey revealed 5 key functions that plastic surgeons value from their EHR system.
Regarding customer support, 81 percent of the respondents listed “initial training” as most important, followed by phone support, screen sharing and software updates.
Contact us to find out how the functions of PatientNOW can improve the efficiency and organization of your plastic surgery practice.
According to a recent Reuters news article, 64 percent of people polled by the University of Chicago felt the benefits of electronic medical records outweighed concerns about privacy.
“A large majority of Americans support use of health IT to improve healthcare and safety, and reduce costs,” said Daniel Gaylin, the executive vice president for research at the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center.
Gaylin suggests that doctors using EMR are more likely to share relevant information with their patients. “It facilitates the exchange of information,” he tells Reuters.
“The NCHS survey found that 41 percent of office-based physicians plan to take advantage of the incentive payments, and 32.4 percent say they plan to enroll during stage 1 of the programs. NCHS data also show that 29.6 percent of primary care physicians have already adopted a basic EHR, a 50 percent increase over 2008’s adoption rate.”
As part of a special program, students at Tulsa Community College are learning to bridge the gap between information technology and medical records. As the government-subsidized switch to EMR moves forward, these students will be prepared and more employable in the healthcare industry.
Tuition in the program is also subsidized. “”If you succeed and pass everything, it’s basically free,” said Sandy Smith, Director of Health Information Technology at the college.
The idea of using EMR in a classroom setting is not a new concept, and actually pre-dates the current government effort to digitize medical records. Several years ago, a program at the University of Minnesota used a simulated EMR to assist the teaching of medical students. The students used the EMR system in a virtual visit: “by going to the clinic web page, signing in and viewing a simulation of a typical clinic electronic patient record system. This system details the patient’s demographic information, past medical history, family history, social history, and progress notes.”
A recent survey from the CDC says that roughly half of physicians are using digital records. About 51 percent of the 7,000 doctors surveyed this year reported at least partial use of electronic medical records (EMR).
Some doctors are using a limited system for basic needs like viewing lab results and prescription writing, while others (about ten percent) are using a completely functional EMR system. The data, particularly when you examine the trends over the past 9 years, reflect a major increase in the use of EMR (see graph).
According to the CDC report:
“Between 2009 and 2010, the percentage of physicians reporting having systems that met the criteria of a basic or a fully functional [EMR] system increased by 14.2% and 46.4%, respectively.”
The survey found a “significantly higher” percentage of doctors in certain states reporting use of EMR. Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Utah and North Dakota topped the list. Florida, Louisiana and Kentucky showed significantly lower numbers of physicians reporting EMR use.
The “meaningful use” final rule offers some flexibility, and physicians now can defer up to five EMR objectives in the first two years and still qualify for Medicare or Medicaid financial incentives. The final CMS rule divides the initial 25 meaningful use objectives into two categories: a core group of 15 objectives that physicians and hospitals must meet, and a “menu set” of 10 procedures from which they can choose any five to defer in 2011-12, the first round of the incentive program. CMS also softened some requirements to make them easier to achieve. Read more about “meaningful use” in this informative article from the American Medical News.
You may also be interested in reading more about the “Meaningful Use” Regulation for Electronic Health Records from the New England Journal of Medicine.
PatientNOW is offering its customers a financial guarantee tied directly to the attainment of meaningful use stimulus funds being provided by the HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. PatientNOW guarantees that PatientNOW Medical Records Suite™ will meet ONC Certification criteria and allow you meet meaningful use criteria as designated by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in ONC’s temporary and permanent meaningful use certification regulations currently pending a final rule.
Eligible professionals who utilize Medical Records Suite™ toward Meaningful Use certification, but do not achieve funding because of a failure of Medical Records Suite™ to meet Meaningful Use certification criteria, will be compensated equal to the amount of lost stimulus funds that would have been paid during the Medical Records Suite™ compliance failure.
Cosmetic Image Marketing Endorses PatientNOW for Its Stimulus Ready EMR and Patient-Management Software Offered to the Aesthetic Industry.
Catherine Maley, MBA, author of Your Aesthetic Practice and President of Cosmetic Image Marketing has announced its endorsement of PatientNOW as a valuable resource for aesthetic physicians who need easy-to-use patient-management software for their practice.
Having worked with aesthetic practices for over a decade, Ms. Maley knows the unique needs of the aesthetic physician and the solutions they require to give their patients what they want now.
“PatientNOW has been named an important resource for their unique patient management software that makes it easy for the aesthetic physician to track their patient relationships so they return for more and refer their friends,” said Ms. Maley.
Catherine Maley, MBA is President of Cosmetic Image Marketing. The firm specializes in consulting with physicians to attract aesthetic patients to their practice.
Catherine Maley is the author of the ASPS-endorsed book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying, a noted speaker and regularly contributing editor to numerous medical trade journals, and was recently interviewed by the New York Times. Visit her blog at www.CatherineMaley.com.