Health information technology execs say investments are coming this year for mobility tools, computer-assisted physician documentation, and speech recognition capability.
Most healthcare leaders plan to use additional technologies and tools to not only realize the full intended benefits of electronic medical record systems, but also to improve clinician satisfaction with using them.
The EHR and Clinical Documentation Effectiveness Study, conducted by HIMSS Analytics, surveyed information technology C-suite executives, directors, and managers from 142 healthcare organizations.
It found that 83% of respondents were either very confident (35.9%) or somewhat confident (46.7%) that their organizations would be able to fully realize the potential and promise of EMR/EHR technology, specifically for providing improved care coordination and outcomes.
To truly achieve that potential, the study also found that organizations are investing heavily in resources to support EMR/EHR use and documentation of patient information.
Three quarters have added training and support resources, and two-thirds have increased staff in at least one IT area since moving to an EHR. The costs associated with those additions and increases have often been by offset by reductions in staff for paper-related practices, such as in-house medical transcriptionists (69%), outsourced medical transcription (60%), and paper records administrators (57%).
Improving the usability of EMR/EHRs will take a multipronged approach, the study finds.
On the clinician side, improving satisfaction with using the technology is key, so healthcare institutions are investing in ways to make that happen. The research finds that 82% of institution are providing clinician training and education, 75% are enhancing existing technology and tools, and 68% are adopting new technology and tools.
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.