Hospital influence over physicians' choice of EMR limited

Hospitals have some influence over physicians' electronic medical record purchasing decisions--but not as much as they might hope, a FiercePracticeManagement survey of more than 260 physicians at independent and hospital-owned practices has found.

Physicians at independent practices were the hardest to influence; nearly 70 percent said they did not purchase or do not plan to purchase the EMR product recommended by their local or affiliated hospital.

The news is slightly better for hospital- or system-owned practices. About 53 percent said they have purchased or plan to purchase the recommended product.

For those hospitals and health systems with integration on their minds, hospitals can influence physicians' buying decisions, from offering technical and financial support to stressing the business case for aligning systems, according to the survey.

Another trend revealed in the survey bolsters anecdotal evidence that physicians are clamoring for specialty-specific EMR modules.

"All specialties have their own work flows specific to the needs of the patients, doctors and specific disease," David J. Fowler, chief information officer of Oncology Hematology Associates in Newburgh, Ind., said in the FiercePracticeManagement report. "Out of the box, specialty-specific EMRs seem better geared to accommodate [specialists'] work flows. That is not to say that a generic EMR could not be tweaked over time, but time is a luxury and has associated costs."

To learn more:
- see the full FiercePracticeManagement EMR survey report (registration required)