Study: Physicians at EMR "tipping point"

Over the past year, study after study has documented that physicians aren't investing heavily in HIT upgrades, particularly EMR systems. But a new study suggests that the tide is about to turn. Researchers with Manhattan Research surveyed 1,353 physicians this year and found that about 30 percent are using EMRs, including not only the larger, better-capitalized finances practice but also smaller medical groups. Another 20 percent reported that that they were "ready" to adopt, the analyst firm reports. What's more, the number of physicians who interact with patients via e-mail is growing, hitting 31 percent this year as compared with 24 percent in 2004.

This is probably the point at which physician EMR adoption will start to climb more rapidly, thanks largely to shifts in vendor strategy, the researchers suggest. "Not only do prices come down as the market builds, [software companies] can start to spin off the 'lighter' versions of the software," says Manhattan Research president Mark Bard. And once that happens, a virtuous cycle begins, in which more physicians buy, and vendors have the cash to urge smaller practices into the market.

To learn more about this study:
- read this Digital HealthCare & Productivity article