HIMSS: athenahealth and Sermo announce partnership, Physician Sentiment Index

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Health IT company athenahealth announced a partnership with online physician community Sermo at the 2010 HIMSS conference in Atlanta last week.

The collaboration’s Physician Sentiment Index, to be released later this month, will help gauge and amplify physicians’ views on issues that are affecting the practice of medicine in the U.S, according the athenahealth.

At the HIMSS conference, athenahealth previewed data from 1,000 randomly selected physicians and their views on EHRs. According to the company, findings show a level of optimism and enthusiasm around EHRs, but also reveal a physician community in need of better applications than are currently available. Findings include:

  • 80 percent have a favorable or very favorable opinion of EHRs;
  • 80 percent feel EHRs improve patient care; and
  • 73 percent agree the patients benefits of an EHR justify the financial costs.


  • 91 percent agree or strongly agree that EHRs are expensive;
  • 72 percent agree or strongly agree that having an EHR still requires effort to stay on top of constantly changing payment requirements/incentives;
  • 81 percent agree or strongly agree that EHRs are expensive to maintain and upgrade;
  • 59 percent agree or strongly agree with the statement that EHRs distract from face-to-face interaction with patients;
  • 54 percent agree or strongly agree that EHRs slow down the doctor during patient exams; and
  • Only slightly more than 50 percent believe EHR systems are designed with them in mind.

Sermo and athenahealth will to bring physician insight to the market over the next several months to assert a collective voice on issues critical to the practice of medicine and ultimately, to identify solutions to address challenges they face, concluded athenahealth, of Watertown, Mass.