Hospitals still having a hard time connecting with physician EHRs
A recent report from Black Book Market Research shows 41 percent of hospital administrators are still finding challenges exchanging electronic health record information with other providers. A disheartening 25 percent say they can't access any patient data from external sources.
As health systems lean on their EHRs to help them tackle population health management for value-based reimbursement, clearly vendors whose products can easily connect with other platforms are preferable. Black Book shows that its top-ranked vendors make use of HL7's FHIR specification to drive interoperability.
"Integrated delivery network EHRs are the future's source for trusted provider data integration and leading to the increase in physician EHR replacements in line with the hospital system," said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book, in a statement.
When hospitals make use of FHIR-optimized systems, he added, "the entire provider network gains the data exchanging functionality to better serve patients. Physician groups continue to lack the financial and technical expertise to adopt complex EHRs which are compulsory to attain higher reimbursements by public and private payers."
Other findings from Black Book show continuing struggles for physician practices and the hospitals trying to connect with them. The firm polled more than 3,300 EHR users, who weighed in on their use of – and satisfaction with – the systems. Among the data points:
- 70 percent of hospitals aren't using patient information outside their EHR, saying that provider data is missing their EHR systems' workflow;
- 22 percent of medical record administrators said what transferred information was available wasn't presented in a useful format;
- 82 percent of independent physician practices said they weren't confident that their EHRs had the connectivity and analytics capability to manage the risk requirements of accountable care;
- 63 percent of those physicians said they're considering joining a larger integrated healthcare organization for technology and financial reasons;
- 92 percent of hospital executives said the reimbursement realities of Medicare's Quality Payment Program will lead to more physician and post-acute provider acquisitions this year.
The good news: Some EHR vendors are getting the job done. Of those polled for the report, these inpatient systems ranked first in client experience for 2017, according to Black Book:
- Evident CPSI, for small and rural hospitals with fewer than 100 beds
- Cerner for community hospitals of 101- 250 beds
- Allscripts for large medical centers with more than 250 beds
- Cerner for hospital chains, systems and IDNs.