Docs Express Concerns with Health IT

July 20, 2017

Enthusiastic dialogue between healthcare professionals and technology experts bodes well for the health IT industry.

On Wednesday, Physicians Practice held its second tweet chat, this one focusing on health IT. Over the course of an hour, we asked a group of healthcare professionals and technology experts a handful of questions about how they view health IT and how they see the industry evolving moving forward. The discussion was insightful, and amid all of the gifs, links, and emojis shared, the overall sentiment was that, while improving, health IT has a long way to go.

We asked participants to give health IT a grade, from A to F with results being mixed. Some gave the industry an "A," citing its ability to improve value-based care delivery, quality, cost improvement, and innovation. Other experts came in at the other end of the spectrum giving Health IT a "D" for pushing out systems and services that were not user-friendly. The majority of participants were in the "B to C" range, acknowledging that improvement is needed, but many are committed to that improvement, and like any industry, there's good and bad, but the overall trend is moving to empowering physicians.

I love tech & believe in #HealthIT potential! but what we have is bad design, not user friendly, & contributes to burnout. #P2techchathttps://t.co/NxkTp0V5ql

- Ranit Mishori MD MHS (@ranitmd) July 19, 2017

When asked what the most frustrating thing about technology at their practice was, health experts were on the same page, citing work flow and interoperability difficulties. In addition, they expressed concern over regulatory obligations and having their needs heard.

Many HIT "solutions" steal user attention vs simplifying. Need mechanisms for safe documentable inter-practitioner communication #P2techchat

- Brian Gilcrease, MD (@brian_gilcrease) July 19, 2017

During the tweet chat, physicians made it clear that while they get frustrated with technology, they could not live without it. Health IT professionals pointed to phones, EHRs, billing, faxing, and scheduling systems that been improved with the advancement of technology. Doctors say they enjoy the fact technology allows them to be in contact with patients more often.  

A3: That’s simple: #telehealth & mobile #patientengagement. They engage & empower both our patients & MDs 4 #valuebasedcare. #P2techchat

- Geeta Nayyar, MD MBA (@gnayyar) July 19, 2017

Linda Girgis, a South River, NJ-based physician said that she could not live without the ability to E-prescribe for her patients, while pointing out she is not able to do as often as she'd like.

 

A3. E-prescribing. #P2techchathttps://t.co/4CqduaKLKn

- Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) July 19, 2017

And no one has to try to read the doctor's handwriting. :) #P2techchat

- Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) July 19, 2017

That is only a very small % of prescriptions I send. Wish we didn't have to write out any. #P2techchat

- Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) July 19, 2017

When we asked how participants would like to see EHRs improve, the responses were diverse. Making results from the EHR more accessible to patients, more user-friendly, interoperability, and getting physicians involved in the development process were all brought up.

A7: #Interoperability & collaborative sharing of #healthdata to really move #precisionmedicine forward for the health of us all. #P2techchat

- Geeta Nayyar, MD MBA (@gnayyar) July 19, 2017

Enthusiastic participation in the tweet chat showed that physicians are willing to adopt technology into the practice of medicine, as long as the technology allows them to continue to do their job unhindered. At the same time, the health IT professionals who took part in the chat were very receptive to what physicians had to say regarding the direction of technology in healthcare.

A7: Empowered patients & providers working together toward better individual & #pophealth. We have the will & will find the way. #P2techchat

- Raj Toleti (@rtoleti) July 19, 2017