Even as EHR proficiency rises, enthusiasm dips
Doctors have become better at using electronic health records software in the last two years but, fewer physicians believe EHRs actually improve care.
Whereas 62 percent of doctors in 2012 believed their EHR helped improve patient care, only 46 percent answered the same way in 2015, according to research that Accenture published on Monday.
More specifically, 72 percent of respondents indicated that their EHR reduced medical errors and 58 percent said they improved outcomes in 2012 – while those numbers dipped to 64 and 46 percent, respectively.
“This is a legitimate recognition that improving patient care is about more than just technology,” said Kaveh Safavi, MD, lead of Accenture’s global health business. “The kind of technologies that are going to be useful are bigger than electronic health records.”
Safavi was careful to point out that Accenture’s findings “are not a criticism of the EHR,” rather evidence that electronic health records are evolving, if not maturing.
The top three functions doctors use their EHRs for, in fact, include patient notes, e-prescribing and inputting clinical results. And on the flip side, the three services most commonly available to patients online are: prescription refill requests, medical record access and telemonitoring to track health.
Safavi added that 82 percent of doctors view EHRs as becoming a platform for patient engagement.
“What we’re starting to see now is the ability for patients to contribute to their record,” Safavi said. “That enhances transparency, enables a greater sense of accuracy and self-control.”