Physician Groups Warming Up to HIEs

Jacqueline Fellows, October 8, 2012

As electronic medical records systems make their way into healthcare's regular workflow, two recent, but separate surveys show that physicians may be buying into the value of joining health information exchanges.

Last week, Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Healthcare, a non-profit group focused on using technology to improve the healthcare quality, issued Clinician Perspectives on Electronic Health Information Sharing for Transitions of Care, a 30-page report on how and when physicians say they want to use electronic health information.

Perhaps what is significant about this survey is not what it shows, but what it doesn't. The barriers to using and exchanging health information electronically are no longer rooted in maintaining the status quo. The fear of change that often accompanies shifts from manual systems to digital processes seems nearly gone.

Instead, physicians now say the challenges lie in the limitations of technology. That's a noteworthy change in attitude considering that in 2010 less than 50% of physician groups were using EMRs, according to the fourth annual Ambulatory Electronic Health Record & Practice Management study.

That number is now at 69%. That same survey also shows 56% percent of hospital-owned physician groups say they plan to join a state, hospital, or regional HIE. 

Jacqueline Fellows

Jacqueline Fellows is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.


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