Navigation Links
Doctors Slow to Embrace Electronic Medical Records
Date:6/18/2008

But family practitioners and doctors in the West are increasingly wired, survey finds

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic medical record systems are being touted as the wave of the future in health care and communication, but only 17 percent of U.S. doctors have embraced the technology, a new survey finds.

"When you use a good definition of what a record system is, very few physicians appear to have one," said lead study author Catherine M. DesRoches, at Massachusetts General Hospital's Institute for Health Policy, in Boston.

The definition of a fully functional electronic medical record system includes a patient's complete medical records, medication lists, problems, and clinical notes from past visits. The doctor can also order prescriptions, laboratory tests and radiology tests electronically, DesRoches said.

In addition, the doctor can review lab results and view X-rays, MRIs or other scans on the computer, DesRoches noted. There are also warnings about inappropriate prescriptions or abnormal lab results. And the systems remind the doctor when lab or screening tests are needed.

For the survey, DesRoches and her colleagues surveyed 2,758 doctors nationwide about their use of electronic medical record systems. The researchers found that 4 percent reported having a fully functional system. An additional 13 percent said they had a basic system.

The survey also found that primary care doctors and doctors with large practices or those in hospitals or medical centers were more likely to have electronic medical record systems. In addition, doctors in the western region of the United States were more likely to have such systems.

The findings, published online Wednesday, were expected to be published in the July 3 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors cited a number of barriers for not adopting an electronic medical record system, including concern about cost and return on investment, DesRoches said.

"They also worry about their system becoming obsolete," she said. "They also worry that the system is going to go down, and they will have a waiting room full of patients, and they can't get to anyone's record."

But, she added, doctors who have these systems are very satisfied with them. "It makes care more effective and efficient," she said.

DesRoches thinks that eventually, most doctors will adopt an electronic system. In fact, the survey found that 40 percent of those physicians who did not have an operational system said they had purchased one but hadn't started to use it, or they planned to buy one, she said.

Both Medicare and private insurance companies are pushing doctors to adopt electronic medical record systems as a way of monitoring quality of care, which will be a basis for reimbursement levels, DesRoches noted.

One electronic medical records expert doesn't think this survey truly reflects which physicians are using electronic systems or takes into account the ultimate goal of computerized medical care.

"What we are talking about is moving physicians into the computer age," said C. Peter Waegemann, chief executive officer of the Boston-based Medical Records Institute, which promotes the use of electronic medical records. "We are changing the way physicians practice medicine, from an intuitive art to a computer-guided, computer-based care system."

Waegemann said that while only about 20 percent of doctors have electronic record systems, the number varies by specialty and region of the country.

"About 50 percent of family practitioners have electronic health record systems. Among pediatricians, 40 to 50 percent have systems," Waegemann said. "In states such as Massachusetts, New York and California, you have maybe 40 to 50 percent implementation. When you get to Mississippi and Idaho, you have maybe 4 percent."

Electronic medical records are coming rapidly, Waegemann predicted. Forces pushing their adoption include patient demand, younger doctors who were trained with such systems and pressures from the insurance industry.

Electronic records also make it easy for patients to send their medical records directly to doctors and specialists, Waegemann said, adding, "If physicians don't have such systems, patients will go elsewhere."

More information

For more on medical records, visit the American Medical Association.



SOURCES: Catherine M. DesRoches, Dr.P.H., Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; C. Peter Waegemann, CEO, Medical Records Institute, Boston; June 18, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine, online, July 3, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine, print edition


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Effective treatment for sickle cell underused by doctors
2. Novartis, Pfizer and Merck Take the Lead on Strong Relationships with Physicians, as Doctors Demand an Expanding Set of Services
3. Wavelets crunch through doctors day long struggle to diagnose brain tumors
4. Nurses, Doctors, Patients to Protest Health Insurers at National Day of Action - June 19th
5. Consumer Reports: Patients Overdose on Debt As Lenders, Doctors, and Hospitals Push Risky Credit to Pay for Medical Care
6. Doctors Urged to Look for Link Between Type 2 Diabetes, Sleep Apnea
7. Three Miami Area Doctors and Six Others Charged in $56 Million Health Care Fraud Schemes
8. U.S. Surgeon General Calls on Doctors to Prescribe Exercise
9. Doctors of Optometry, Parents, Educators and Legislators Applaud New Illinois Law Requiring Comprehensive Eye Exams for Children Starting School
10. Study: Doctors not always sure when to treat BP in people with diabetes
11. Study: Doctors Not Always Sure When to Treat Blood Pressure in People With Diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Delta Dental of California and its affiliated companies ... Gary D. Radine, who recently retired as president and CEO of Delta Dental of ... CEO of the Year , helped lead the effort to raise funds for studies ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder ... and men with eating disorders report a history of trauma, research suggests that ... an eating disorder. , At the 2016 iaedp Symposium, the workshop, “What ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... GrassrootsHealth published data from its D*action ... diabetes in the GrassrootsHealth cohort with substantially higher vitamin D levels than a ... health,” states Carole Baggerly, Director of GrassrootsHealth, “the safety and benefits of ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 ... ... at RowdMap, Inc., will be speaking on how healthcare companies can use newly ... costs, manage the health of a population and intervene and capture the value ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... According to research by the National Association ... to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase patient awareness of the ... Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists and patients about the possible lack of skills ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... /PRNewswire/--  Cell Applications, Inc. and Cyfuse Biomedical ... now available in North America ... approach called the "Kenzan Method." Utilizing Cyfuse Biomedical,s ... robotic system that fabricates 3D tissue from cells, ... model that makes scaffold-free tissue available immediately to ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Velano Vascular, a medical technology company transforming ... their practitioners, announced today that the company has raised ... the proceeds from this financing, an extension of a ... to support the development and commercialization of the company,s ... Philadelphia , and a number ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016  Unilife Corporation ("Unilife" or "Company") (NASDAQ: UNIS ... delivery systems, today announced that it will release its financial ... 2015 after market close on February 9, 2016.  At this ... discuss these financial results.    About Unilife Corporation ... About Unilife Corporation UNIS ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: