Survey: IT, EHRs best strategy to improve healthcare

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Healthcare industry leaders and policymaker who took an online poll say the best strategies for improving the quality of care and efficiency is through the adoption of IT and electronic health records (EHRs), according to Modern Healthcare.

Nearly two-thirds of the 214 who completed the Commonwealth Fund/ Modern Healthcare Opinion Leaders Surveys reported that IT and EHR adoption leads the way in improving efficiency. A majority (59%) said public reporting of performance measures also improves could improve quality of care. Respondents were able to select more than one method for enhancing efficiency and care.

On the low and notable side, only 7 percent supported the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, which allow physicians to voluntarily and confidentially report medical errors, as a means to making a difference.

Other solutions supported to improve quality: mandatory reporting of medical errors (75 percent); federal government should support providers' IT investments (70 percent); reported medical errors should be publicized (60 percent); and health plans and insurers should back IT expansion (58 percent).

Ninety percent of respondents said Medicare should require EHRs within 10 years, with 70 percent saying it should be as soon as five years.