Report: Annual survey on EMR trends and usage

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The results of the Medical Records Institute’s (MRI) 2007 survey of Electronic Medical Record Trends and Usage are now available. The survey, cosponsored by Philips Speech Recognition Systems, is an annual poll of IT usage among healthcare providers.

The survey reports results from a database of 819 and excludes vendors and consultants. Within that database, IT managers and professionals, and physicians and nurses were represented the most. Almost two-thirds of the database identified themselves as having final or strong influence in EMR-decision making and were primarily based in the United States (91.9 percent).

Respondents were asked to reveal insight into why EMRs are being implemented, major barriers to adopting EMRs, what EMR applications and functions are being used, what information capture applications are being used, what wireless technologies are being used and what perceived effect EMRs have on patient care and safety and the efficiency of healthcare delivery.

The survey results show that the two primary reasons for implementing EMRs are the need to improve clinical processes or workflow efficiency and the need to improve quality of care.

Common barriers to implementing EMRs cited by respondents included lack of adequate funding, anticipated difficulties in changing to an EMR system, difficulty making a plan to switch from paper to electronic documentation and the inability to find an EMR application at an affordable cost.

According to the results, more than 90 percent of respondents anticipate that EMRs will have improved quality of care, patient safety and healthcare efficiency 10 years from now.