KLAS: 1 in 4 ambulatory providers believe MU is improving patient care

In what appears to be another setback for the Meaningful Use program, the latest report from Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research reveals that just 25 percent of ambulatory providers responding to its survey feel that their electronic health records have a positive impact on patient care.

For the report, Ambulatory EMR Impact on Patient Care 2014: Bases Loaded But no Home Runs, KLAS interviewed 158 ambulatory healthcare organizations. Sixteen percent believed that Meaningful Use had negatively impacted patient care; more than half (55 percent) were neutral.  

The report mirrors similar studies that indicate physicians are still struggling to incorporate EHRs into their practices and to meet the Meaningful Use requirements. More than a quarter of them are searching for a replacement EHR that will serve them better. 

"The vast majority of providers were vocal about their feelings surrounding meaningful use not yet realizing its objective of positively impacting patient care," report author Erik Bermudez said in a statement. "A common sentiment we heard from providers is that so far, the Meaningful Use program has mostly missed the mark."

Respondents ranked EHRs highest in the area of facilitating patient interaction outside of the office, such as remote access, allowing for care after hours.  EHRs were also seen as creating a slowdown of patient throughput.

The report found that while no EHR vendors "hits a home run," Epic ranked highest for facilitating quality patient care with larger organizations; GE Healthcare and athenahealth followed close behind with midsized and smaller organizations. NextGen rated the lowest.

The best practices respondents employed or wish they had included dedicating time to optimizing workflow up front, increased training, standardization across facilities and making EHRs more strategic, say in population health.

While there are indications that the systems can improve patient care and safety, many gaps and new safety dangers have arisen.

To learn more:
- read KLAS' announcement