Study: Numbers show EHRs will improve overall care and patient safety

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More than three-quarters of providers cite improving workflow, improving care, exchanging health information and reducing medical errors as motivating factors for adopting electronic health records (EHR), according to a survey released this week from the Medical Records Institute titled "Sixth Annual Survey of Electronic Health Record Trends and usage for 2004."

Barriers to adoption include:

  • Lack of funding (56 percent)

  • Inability to find an affordable EHR system (36 percent)
  • Not enough support of the medical staff (35 percent)
  • Difficulty finding a system that was not fragmented among suppliers or IT platforms (34 percent)

In terms of specific applications, 37 percent of respondents said they have remote clinician access to EHRs, 22 percent said they have computerized physician order entry (CPOE) for lab orders, and 17 percent have pharmacy CPOE. Fourteen percent have lab CPOE with clinical decision support, and 17 percent have pharmacy CPOE with decision support. Some 26 percent have electronic prescribing systems with access to drug reference information, and 25 percent have e-prescribing systems with medication histories.

On the mobile front, 23 percent of respondents use mobile scheduling, 23 percent use mobile drug interactions reference applications, 31 percent have mobile access to patient records and 30 percent have mobile access to lab and other test results. Twelve percent have mobile e-prescribing systems, although 37 percent plan to adopt them in the future.

The online survey conducted between April and June was based on feedback from 436 healthcare IT and clinical professionals.