6 key notes on ophthalmology EHR adoption —72.1% have EHR

A new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology examines EHR adoption among ophthalmologists in the U.S.

 

Study authors conducted an EHR survey with similar questions to those on a 2006 and 2011 survey on EHR adoption. The questions covered changes in financial results, clinical productivity, Medicare EHR incentive program engagement and awareness of documentation integrity. A random sample of 2,000 ophthalmologists were sent the survey; 348 ophthalmologists completed the survey.

Study authors found:

1. Around 72.1 percent of the respondents had implemented an EHR for some or all of the physicians in their practice, up from 47 percent in 2011 and 19 percent in 2006. There was also a greater proportion of computer-based systems in 2017 than 2011.

2. Half of the respondents said they host their own data at or near the practice, while another 34 percent reported cloud-based data; 10 percent didn't know where their EHR data resided.

3. The survey showed physicians are increasingly using scribes while typing and dictation are becoming less popular ways of documentation. Most of the respondents didn't think the level of coding changed over time; 19 percent reported their ability to capture charges was greater with an EHR while 56 percent said it was the same.

4. Most of the ophthalmologists surveyed felt their net revenues and productivity declined while their practice costs were higher with an EHR. Around 46 percent used paper reports for in-office testing, compared to 39 percent who used vendor software and 24 percent that scanned printed images. Another 21 percent used a picture archiving and communications system and 37 percent viewed images in their EHR.

Half of the physicians were satisfied with their image management system and half were satisfied with their clinical documentation system.

5. Among physicians who attested for stage 1 meaningful use, 83 percent reported they already have attested or were planning to attest to stage 2.

6. One quarter of the respondents felt it was easier to provide quality care with the EHR than the paper records, and 36 percent felt their quality of care was the same. Fifty-five percent said they would recommend their EHR to another surgeon, the same rate as the 2011 survey.

"In comparison with the two previous surveys of ophthalmologists, respondents had more negative perceptions of EHR productivity outcomes and effect on practice costs, although financial data were not collected in this survey to support these opinions," concluded the study authors. "The negative perceptions suggest that more attention should be placed on improving the efficiency and usability of EHR systems."

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