Most Physicians On Board with EHR's

Survey results reveal that the staggering majority of clinicians believe that the electronic exchange of health information will have a positive impact on improving the quality of patient care, coordinating care, meeting the demands of new care models and participating in third-party reporting and incentive programs.

The American College of Physicians (ACP), the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Health Care developed the survey and analyzed 527 responses in the report Clinician Perspectives on Electronic Health Information Sharing for Transitions of Care.

"The exchange of patient health information across care settings is a critical component to the success of the new models to improve care, such as the patient-centered medical home," said Michael S. Barr, MD, FACP, MBA, who leads ACP's Medical Practice, Professionalism & Quality division. "ACP agrees with the 78 percent of survey respondents who believe that exchanging health information will have a positive effect on clinicians' ability to meet the demands of these new care models."

Still, challenges remain for the widespread electronic exchange of health information. More than 70 percent of surveyed clinicians cited a lack of interoperability, lack of an information exchange infrastructure and the incurred costs of setting up and maintaining interfaces and exchanges as substantial obstacles, preventing clinicians from exchanging information with others.

"The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has done a lot to encourage the development of the technology needed to support the exchange of information across care settings, but we still have a long way to go," said Dr. Barr. "These gaps are most apparent when we look at the infrastructure, or lack thereof, needed to support the exchange of information and the governance surrounding such exchange."

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • Access to medication lists and relevant laboratory and imaging test results are commonly recognized as "high priorities" for transitions of care.
  • Over half of the respondents prefer that they information they consider "essential" gets "pushed" to them, with the ability access additional information through a query.
  • The timeliness of information is important. The majority of clinicians consider "within 24 hours" a reasonable timeframe for the exchange of information when a patient requires follow-up care or is being treated for an urgent condition.
  • When updating the electronic health record with information received from an external source, clinicians prefer to be able to selectively choose the information they want integrated.
  • "By categorizing clinicians' views on the types of information they want to receive, how they want to receive it, how quickly they want to receive it, and what they want to do with it, we can support efforts to facilitate the exchange of health information," Dr. Barr said.

For more information on the survey, the participants and the results, visit:http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-10/acop-scb100312.php