Study: Physicians eager for EHRs but need help from hospitals

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A new study indicates that primary care physicians and specialists would welcome the help of local hospitals in adopting EHR systems to leverage the IT infrastructure and purchasing power of the facilities, according to a new study by Harris Interactive and commissioned by McKesson. About 75 percent of the respondents said they plan to adopt EHRs for their practices. Ninety-one percent of them said they hope to install the systems within three years.

According to the survey, physicians are more concerned with gaining the clinical benefits from EHRs than they are worried about the financial hurdles. Eighty percent of respondents ranked “coordination of care across care settings” as the top benefit of an EHR, with 52 percent indicating that the systems also would save them money down the road. Physicians also seem to feel that hospitals already provide a number of valuable electronic services such as discharge summaries, hospital charts, laboratory results, and medical images in a seamless manner. Thus, physicians seem to prefer to partner with a local hospital for EHR technology rather than pay a fee in return for access to technology systems, according to the survey.

The survey, conducted in June, looked at 428 physicians, with 249 primary care physicians including general practitioners/internal medicine, obstetricians and pediatricians, and 179 specialists including cardiologists, orthopedists, and general surgeons.