EHR adoption costs continue to hold physicians back

Current users and potential purchasers of electronic health record (EHR) software recognize the value of using EHRs, but the high cost is causing nearly one-third of physicians to hesitate from taking the plunge, according to a recently released survey by Sage Healthcare Division.

The survey, published August 10, found that while 77 percent of all respondents saw the ease of use and speediness of an EHR, 32 percent of medical practices who are in the market for the technology remain stymied by the capital investment.                          

"Implementation of EHRs in the U.S. continue to grow as an increased number of physicians and staff gain a better understanding of the efficiency and cost-saving benefits of using the technology," said Betty Otter-Nickerson, president of the Sage Healthcare Division, an EHR developer, according to a press release. "However, a significant number of office-based practices have yet to implement an EHR solution. Sage's survey was conducted to examine current perceptions and predominant trends that will help us design the best solutions to maximize the benefits of EHR."

Interestingly, current and potential EHR owners had significantly different perceptions about such systems. Respondent physicians who already have adopted the technology said they measured their success through reporting and tracking healthcare outcomes (64 percent) and error reduction (62 percent); potential buyers said they would measure EHR success through increased revenue (74 percent), followed by reporting and tracking healthcare outcomes (60 percent). 

"[M]eaningful use incentives are still one of the strongest drivers for most physicians (64 percent) to implement technology," Sage said in its statement.

 Current EHR users are also more aware of the technology's additional benefits, such as: 

  • Meeting their business goals of lower costs and improved patient service (80 percent)
  • Improved staff efficiency (74 percent)
  • Increased availability of floor space that was previously occupied by paper records (72 percent)
  • Ability to share patient information (38 percent)
  • Reduced paper and office expenses (52 percent). 

Seventy-six percent of current EHR users surveyed said they would invest in EHR again. 

To learn more:
- here's Sage's press release
- read this Healthcare IT News article via WTN News