Information Technologies: When Will They Make It Into Physicians' Black Bags?

The Commonwealth Fund, New York, NY, USA.
MedGenMed: Medscape general medicine 01/2005; 6(4):2.
Source: PubMed


Physicians in the United States are only slowly adopting information technology (IT) tools, despite studies demonstrating their clinical benefits. More is known about IT use within institutional settings than by individual physicians.
This study investigates physicians' current use of, future plans for, and perceived barriers to adopting electronic medical records (EMRs), computerized prescribing and order entry, clinical decision support systems, and electronic communication (email) with other physicians and with patients.
Self-administered mail surveys were completed between March and May 2003 among a national random sample of physicians involved in direct patient care of adults. A total of 1837 surveys were returned for a response rate of 52.8%.
Physicians most commonly use IT for billing. For clinical management, the most common tool is computerized access to laboratory results (59%). Other tools are less prevalent: Twenty-seven percent of respondents use EMRs routinely or occasionally; 27% prescribe or order tests electronically; and 12% receive electronic alerts about potential drug-prescribing problems. Only 24% of surveyed physicians practice in a "high-tech" office setting. Physicians in groups of 50 or more are significantly more likely to use any IT tools and to practice in a high-tech office, as compared with physicians in solo practice (odds ratio = 7.7). The top 3 barriers to adoption of IT are start-up costs (56%), lack of uniform standards (44%), and lack of time (39%).
Most physicians do not use EMRs and related technologies. Adoption is uneven, and a technologic divide exists between physicians depending on their practice environment and mode of compensation. Cost remains the most important barrier to adoption. Attention needs to be focused on policies and business models that will make IT tools accessible and affordable to all physicians.

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Available from: Stephen C Schoenbaum
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    • "An EMR system that provides alerts and automated suggestions can improve adherence to prevention protocols [16], thereby reducing medical errors [10]. Family physician practices play an essential role in the delivery of healthcare services but are least likely to adopt complex innovations such as EMR systems, particularly small practices [17] [18]. According to the Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians, Canada ranked 10th out of 11 countries in terms of physicians' use of EMR systems in their practice in 2012 [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: EMR system can provide three main types of benefits: it can solve the logistical organization problems associated with paper systems; it can improve the quality of professionals’ clinical decisions; and it can improve physicians’ return on their practices by reducing the cost of managing clinical information. According to the 2012 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, Canada ranked 10th out of 11 countries in terms of family physicians’ adoption of EMR systems. Our main purpose is to investigate the reasons why so many primary care medical practices in this country have not decided to invest in these systems yet.
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    • "Additionally, whereas earlier clinical information systems, such as those for laboratory results, pharmacy, and picture archiving and communication , focus on specific tasks or departments within a hospital, EHRS have the potential to integrate various systems and serve as a platform technology. To the degree that EHRS exhibit considerable value potential, and in light of the fact that EHRS assimilation is low in the U.S. healthcare sector (Angst et al. 2010, Audet et al. 2004, Miller et al. 2005), it is important to understand the dynamics underlying this phenomenon. "
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    ABSTRACT: With the lack of timely and relevant patient information at the point of care increasingly being linked to adverse medical outcomes, effective management and exchange of patient data has emerged as a strategic imperative for the healthcare industry. Healthcare informaticians have suggested that electronic health record systems (EHRS) can facilitate information sharing within and between healthcare stakeholders such as physician practices, hospitals, insurance companies, and laboratories. We examine the assimilation of EHRS in physician practices through a novel and understudied theoretical lens of physicians' identities. Physician practices and the physicians that lead them occupy a central position in the healthcare value chain and possess a number of unique characteristics that differentiate them from other institutional contexts, including a strong sense of affiliation with other physicians, potent professional identities, and a desire for autonomy. We investigate two salient physician identities, those of careprovider and physician community, grounded in the roles physicians play and the groups with which they affiliate. We argue that these identities and their evolution, triggered by EHRS, manifest as both identity reinforcement and deterioration, and are important drivers of EHRS assimilation. We use survey data from 206 physician practices, spread across the United States, to test our theoretical model. Results suggest that physician community identity reinforcement and physician community identity deterioration directly influence the assimilation of EHRS. We further find that the effects of careprovider identity reinforcement and careprovider identity deterioration on EHRS assimilation are moderated by governmental influence. Theoretical and pragmatic implications of the findings are discussed.
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    • "Past studies have suggested that providers who use EMRs tend to focus on the benefits of the systems more than the barriers, as compared to providers who have not implemented EMRs (Gans et al. 2005; Scheck McAlearney et al. 2004). Other studies have found that practice setting and size are factors in physician acceptance of EMRs (Audet et al. 2004). It is an open question whether patterns such as these will be found among behavioral health providers. "
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    ABSTRACT: Interviews with 32 community behavioral health providers elicited perceived benefits and barriers of using electronic health records. Themes identified were (a) quality of care, (b) privacy and security, and (c) delivery of services. Benefits to quality of care were mentioned by 100% of the providers, and barriers by 59% of providers. Barriers involving privacy and security concerns were mentioned by 100% of providers, and benefits by 22%. Barriers to delivery of services were mentioned by 97% of providers, and benefits by 66%. Most providers (81%) expressed overall positive support for electronic behavioral health records.
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