EHR adoption up, but doc satisfaction lags

More physicians than ever are using electronic health record systems, but they're not as happy with them as they used to be, according to a new survey by Physicians Practice

The survey of 1,291 physicians--sponsored by Louisville, Ky.-based healthcare and medical revenue cycle management company ZirMed--found that 55.4 percent of independent physician practices, and more than three-fourths of physicians overall, are using EHRs that either they or their hospital partners own. Almost two-thirds of EHR adopters (62 percent) reported that they had successfully attested to Stage 1 of Meaningful Use and received their incentive payment; 57 percent already are preparing for Stage 2. 

However, the picture isn't completely rosy. Fewer physicians (54 percent) reported that they are satisfied with their EHRs, down from 63 percent two years ago. Meanwhile, only 57 percent of users said that their EHR made them more efficient, and only 43 percent reported that they've seen a return on their investment.

Almost 14 percent of physicians who attested during Stage 1 of the Meaningful Use program don't plan on attesting to Stage 2. 

The survey results mirror those of other recently touted statistics. For instance, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently announced that as of the end of April 2013, more than half of all eligible professionals, and 80 percent of eligible hospitals, have received incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid Meaningful Use programs. What's more, an Accenture survey, published earlier this month, concluded that 93 percent of U.S. doctors are actively using some sort of EHR system.

However, dissatisfaction with such systems increased, with physicians reporting that they're not seeing solid return on investment. 

None of the studies speculate why increased EHR use is correlating with increased dissatisfaction. 

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- access the study