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2017 Technology Survey Results

2017 Technology Survey Results

Practices across the country have graded the health IT industry, and it's not a pretty result. In fact, the health IT industry will have to get its parents to sign its report card because its grade is that bad.

Nearly 75 percent of practices agree with former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt, who said the health IT industry has failed because physicians do not like the technology they use for the most part. This is according this year's annual Physicians Practice Technology Survey, which looks at the usage of technology at the practice level from more than 500 (mostly independent) practices across the U.S.

Furthermore, 67.9 percent of practices say they have not seen a return on investment as a result of their purchase of an EHR system. On the other side of the coin, most practices (54 percent) are either very satisfied or satisfied with their EHR vendor.

The 2017 Physicians Practice Tech Survey also looked at practice readiness for adherence to CMS' Quality Payment Program's Advancing Care Information (ACI) guidelines, which replaces the Meaningful Use program in measuring how practices are adopting EHRs. Overall, 50.1 percent of practices understand the ACI guidelines, 49.5 percent of which have begun to prepare to adhere to these guidelines. Of the 49.9 percent that don't understand the ACI guidelines, 38 percent say they are having trouble understanding the Quality Payment Program in general, while 28.4 percent say they don't know the difference between ACI and Meaningful Use.

Here are a few more highlights of the survey:

• The most pressing tech problem, according to respondents, is meeting government and private payer requirements (22.5 percent); second most common answer was optimizing use of the EHR (16.5 percent).

• More than 80 percent of practices say their practice hasn't been hacked in the last 12 months.

• In most practices (31.1 percent), physicians decide to invest and select tech products to purchase.

• Only 12.6 percent of practices have used telemedicine.

Above are partial results to the 2017 Technology Survey. The complete results to the survey will be made available later this month.

Source: 
Physicians Practice

Comments

I don't think that the IT industry is mostly to blame. They were asked to produce, and we were goaded into buying and using systems that really were, and in many ways still are in their infancies. The understanding of how to meaningfully reflect the patient-physician encounter in a database with a common protocol or language that can be viewed across systems has not been well developed. Imagine if Harry Truman had ordered the US to send a ship to the moon by 1952. The technical and scientific knowledge was simply not developed at that point. Yet, this is what happened with the EMR. We were the guinea pigs for many mission failures. The Feds should simply lay off and let the technology develop. When it is ready, we won't need to be bribed into using it. Example: digital X-ray technology.

Leon @

It is my professional opinion that this is what happens when physicians are not in control of their own profession - Medicine. If they were, all healthcare IT, especially EMR's would first be designed to meet the needs of how the physician works and have the ability to easily change to the various ways each physician works including the tasks of their clinical teams. Instead, EMR's were designed to force doctors into working in ways that meet certification needs, and for other non-clinical organizations to get data. I have merged several EMR's and transitioned several practices from paper to EMR. If I had to do it all over again, I would have hired my own IT person to get the no charge Vista system from the VA - the only system that did it right - and integrate a PM system with it. Using any other product, the most effective and efficient way to allow your doctors to practice medicine instead of figuring out how to do take care of patients in a limited box - is to allow them to work as they always have and use the EMR to "house" the documents.

Tricia @

I think it would be helpful to have a "lemon law" for EMR systems, because they are so expensive for practices to buy and many small practices don't have the expertise to make an informed choice before purchasing. When the practice realizes it has bought a bad system, it is too difficult and expensive to change to another system. There needs to be industry standards on what each system should include to make it relatively easy to learn and use, and the EMR companies need to be required to provide adequate support, including training of new employees as time goes on, instead of the practice having to pay for training of the inevitable new employees. Also, the ENR companies should be required to answer their phones and be prepared to provide support beyond normal business hours, since medical providers usually work into the evenings to finish charts. All government required quality measures should flow seamlessly into a report without extra clicks to put the information where it can be retrieved. These are just a few of many possible improvements.

Joanne @

The easy answer to that is to require it of the company you purchase from, find out about their support options and training prior to purchasing and get a package that includes the services you need. Let the market demand it not the government. You don't need to add additional regulation to the industry as a whole because I can tell you that requiring some or all of these things will only mean it will force the price of the products up.

Loree @

Great, relevant commentary. Our experience leads our wish list to include a lemon law that provides for liquidated damages in the event that the EHR does not meet certain minimum requirements such as the ability to data-enter quality measures and ACI in its fullest set and electronically score these MIPS and report directly from CEHRT, that information that would ordinarily be free texted be easily converted to structured text for fully migrating all data to another vendor, that clear language upfront in the vendor contract declare the cost upfront to migrate in open source data the providers' data to the next vendor, that vendors be required at the time of sale and contract signing declare whenever the software is under ONC audit or on probation and why, that a ceiling be declared for the maximum training per new employee be set with cost-of-living type increase per year, that a vendor's surety bond be posted by the certified product vendor to cover the closing down and client conversion cost of the vendor's software or of the vendor itself (Happened twice with 30-day advance notice), that an annual star system be established by the ONC CEHRT much like Medicare has a provider in nursing home star system for providers, and that an ombudsman or sheriff system be established by the ONC to rapid-response- report gross violations by vendors. If the real purpose of MIPS is to frustrate and discourage the smaller independent practice of medicine, to lower reimbursement per provider, to attribute resource cost to primary care providers and favor specialists because specialists have superior reimbursements thereby enabling better lobbyists, and to privatize healthcare fully in capitated plans therby gaining better control of primary care providers practice patterns and reimbursement, then just man up and admit it and take us out of this compliance hell.

Jeffrey @

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