EHR adoption was in the news this week as the Journal of the American Medical Association released a new study that showed that financial incentives tied to EHR use improved patient outcomes.
This week’s Clinical Documentation News Roundup brings you articles on the state of EHR adoption in the U.S. and strategies for improving it.
- 4 Excuses for Not Adopting EHRs and How to Address Them from Physicians Practice: “Changing over to the world of EHRs is going to be a part of your future, and in 2015 you will begin being penalized financially for dragging your feet. I cringe every time I visit a client's office that is still relying on patient charts, hand scribbling on paper super bills, and writing barely legible (you know they are) prescriptions...You can’t afford not to comply. If you are this late to the game, you are already missing out on Medicare and Medicaid incentives, these incentives decrease each year you wait. If you wait too long, your reimbursements will be penalized in increasing increments. It is fiscally irresponsible to wait. I have personally seen offices set up and compliant with the investment of a handheld tablet and a $200 per month subscription.”
- Creating a Culture of Adoption for EHRs and Health IT from MedCity News: “It is general knowledge among seasoned EHR implementers that EHR technology is not the primary concern when promoting EHR adoption (while there are many areas of potential improvements, the tech is generally ‘good enough’ in most cases). There are, however, many challenges surrounding the deployments EHRs and one of the biggest is that not enough training or pre work done to prepare staff and resources. A great way to ensure EHR success is by creating a ‘Culture of Adoption.’”
- Are Physician Coaches the Answer to EHR Adoption Challenges? from EHR Intelligence: “EHR adoption is an ongoing process. As a process, it requires healthcare organizations and providers to resolves obstacles in the way of enhancing or refining their EHR systems. No obstacle is perhaps greater than the ability to get physicians on board and up to speed on the new functionalities or services that are a major part of the hospital’s or practice’s journey toward meaningful and sustainable EHR adoption. One strategy that is proving successful in mitigating physician resistance is by bringing in physician coaches with both the clinical and technological knowledge necessary to guide physicians through the adoption process and get them to buy in.”
- Incentivized EHR use improves cardiovascular outcomes from Fierce EMR: “Payment incentives tied to electronic health records can positively influence patient care, even in small physician practices, according to new research published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers, from the University of California, San Francisco, speculated whether providing small practices not only with EHRs but also with performance incentives, would spur better outcomes. They conducted a randomized trial of practices in a New York City incentive program, where all of the practices received the same EHR software and onsite quality improvement support. Some practices also received payments for each patient whose care met specific cardiovascular performance criteria, such as blood pressure control and smoking cessation interventions.”
- EHRs Scarce at Assisted-Living Facilities from Modern Health Care: "A small minority of the nation's assisted-living and other residential care communities used electronic health record systems in 2010, according to a government report released Wednesday. The federal EHR incentive payment program established in 2009 has helped boost EHR adoption to nearly 81% of hospitals and 59% of physicians and other eligible professionals while spending almost $15.9 billion. But Congress, in establishing the program, excluded nursing homes, other long-term care facilities, assisted living and other residential care providers.
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