From the Desk of Gregory A. Thompson, MD, Chief of Medical Affairs
Electronic Health Record? More Reasons To Adopt
According to the 2011 Physician Workflow study, conducted by The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, 55% of office-based physicians surveyed use an electronic health record (EHR) and 85% of them are somewhat or very satisfied with it. Other key findings from the survey:
- About three-quarters of adopters reported that using their EHR system resulted in enhanced patient care.
- About three-quarters of physicians who have adopted an EHR system reported that their system meets federal "meaningful use" criteria.
- Nearly one-half of physicians currently without an EHR system plan to purchase or use one already purchased within the next year.
You can view the full CDC summary
. Presumably at this point, all physicians have heard of the benefits of using an EHR in their practice, yet many of you still fall in the category of "slow adopters." Among the greatest benefits reported by those surveyed in the Physician Workflow study are:
- Ability to access the patient chart remotely
- Alerts to critical lab values and potential medication errors
- Preventive care reminders
- Ordering more on-formulary medications
Furthermore, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) offer financial incentives for the "meaningful use" of EHRs. You can find more on the EHR Incentive Program
If you are a Humana Veterans' contracted provider, electronic prescription writing through an EHR would also help you to comply with requirements enforced by Veterans Health Administration pharmacies, such as the need for full demographic data on every prescription and the avoidance of abbreviations that are disallowed by the Joint Commission.
Humana Veterans fully supports the adoption and full use of electronic health records. If you've already adopted this technology, congratulations. If not, and if uncertainty as to the value of an EHR is a factor in your hesitancy, we hope the CDC's Physician Workflow study will change your mind.