Primary care providers: HIT is a positive disruption

Primary care providers' have mixed views when it comes to changes in healthcare delivery and payment, but many see health information technology as a positive disruption.

Health IT received the most positive ratings from providers when it comes to new care models, which also include medical homes and affordable care organizations, according to a briefing by The Commonwealth Fund and The Kaiser Family Foundation. For the briefing, more than 1,600 primary care doctors and 525 clinicians working in primary care practices were surveyed between January and March of this year.

Half of physician respondents said that health IT is having a positive impact on quality of care delivery, while 64 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants said the same.

Technology has become an integral part of the healthcare ecosystem, and its many uses are making it clear that new tools will lead the way to better care--from the implementation of telemedicine in rural communities to using data to improve the health of populations.

Other changes, however, received more mixed reviews. While 33 percent of physicians and 40 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants found an increase in PCMHs to be a positive change, 27 percent of physicians and 32 percent of the NPs and PAs were unsure they had an impact on care at all.

However, PCMHs have been shown to reduce healthcare costs, overuse of the emergency department and overall inpatient hospitalizations, according to a report from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative.

As for ACOs, physicians had a negative view of the organizations, with 26 percent saying they have a negative impact on care; only 14 percent said the impact was positive.

In addition, performance assessments and financial penalties were not viewed positively. Half of physicians and 38 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants viewed them negatively. Fifty-two percent of physicians and 41 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants said financial penalties also have a negative impact.

To learn more:
- here's the survey (.pdf)