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New IDC Health Insights Survey of Ambulatory Providers Reveals Dissatisfaction with Ambulatory EHR

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New IDC Health Insights Survey of Ambulatory Providers Reveals Dissatisfaction with Ambulatory EHR IDC Health Insights today announced the availability of a new report, Business Strategy: The Current State of Ambulatory EHR Buyer Satisfaction, (Doc #HI244027), that examines the results of an ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) satisfaction survey of 212 ambulatory and hospital-based providers conducted in September 2013 by MedData Group. The report also outlines the issues that continue to affect EHR adopters, and the sentiment regarding opportunities for replacement and optimization among users. Based on the results, while the adoption of EHR is widespread, the experience of the majority of providers working with EHR in ambulatory practices is one of dissatisfaction.

According to the results, 58% of ambulatory providers surveyed were dissatisfied, very dissatisfied, or neutral about their experience with ambulatory EHR. The two most frequent reasons for EHR dissatisfaction involved lost productivity. Issues affecting EHR productivity include poor usability, inappropriate form factors and user interfaces, access to mobile technology, workflow tools and configurations, inadequate training on the technology, inadequate staffing and support, inefficient processes, and application uptime and availability.

According to IDC Research Director Judy Hanover, "Despite achieving meaningful use, most office-based providers find themselves at lower productivity levels than before the implementation of EHR. Workflow, usability, productivity, and supplier quality issues continue to drive dissatisfaction and need to be addressed by suppliers and practices." Read Hanover's blog post about the survey results here.

Additional findings from the study include:

  • The two most frequent reasons for EHR dissatisfaction involved lost productivity — spending more time on documentation (85%) and seeing fewer patients (66%).
  • Providers that were satisfied with EHR cited the top reasons were a reduction in the number of lost or missing charts (82%), the ability to access medical records and work remotely (75%), and incentive payments (56%).
  • The top 5 tasks physicians use EHR for include: accessing patient information, documenting care, ePrescribing, viewing labs and diagnostic tests results, and entering orders.

Widespread EHR adoption in the ambulatory provider market from 2009 to 2013 was driven largely by regulatory change. According to the survey results, first and foremost, the goals for more than half of the providers (56%) that implemented EHR in recent years were regulatory compliance and qualifying for meaningful use incentives (40%). Also among the top 3 stated objectives for most providers implementing EHRs was the objective of improving the quality of care (43%). Other top objectives included improving efficiency and productivity (30%), supporting workflow (23%), and improving care team communication and collaboration (22%).

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