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Medscape report reveals EHR trends

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By April Bailey

According to Medscape’s recently rEHReleased EHR Report 2014, 83 percent of physicians surveyed are currently using electronic health record systems in their work environments—but these systems are not without patient-related concerns.

More than 18,000 doctors were surveyed about their EHR experiences for the report. Only 17 percent expressed that they have no patient privacy concerns related to EHRs. This demonstrates a significant increase in concern over the past two years; Medscape’s 2012 report stated that 77 percent of physicians had no concerns.

Another concern physicians expressed was that EHRs negatively affect the doctor-patient relationship; 70 percent said EHRs cause them to have less face-to-face time with patients.

The survey also found that the most widely used EHRS aren’t necessarily the most popular among physicians. Respondents were asked to rate their EHRs on a scale of one to five—one being the lowest—for ease of use, satisfaction with the overall product, how the product connected with other systems and usefulness as a clinical tool. Epic was the most used EHR vendor, but VA-CPRS, the Veterans Administration EHR, was the top-rated overall among physicians.

Despite physicians’ concerns, experts expect EHR usage will continue to increase in coming years. Physicians participating in the survey provided a few tips for other doctors looking to improve their EHR experiences:

  • Visit the offices of colleagues to see how their EHRs work
  • Attend health conferences and other events where these systems may be available for test-drive
  • Find online chat rooms where EHR comments and questions can be shared

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