A recent HIMSS analytics report reveals that 46 percent of docs in U.S. plan to join an exchange; 35 percent seek changes in their ambulatory systems.
According to the HIMSS Analytics’ newest Ambulatory Electronic Health Record & Practice Management Study, more than one third of physicians either want to upgrade, replace or purchase their ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) systems. Meanwhile, 46 percent of the physicians intend to join an HIE.
The report was prepared polling in more than 800 physician groups about EHR and practice management technologies. The study incorporates information from the HIMSS Analytics Database to offer an in-depth look at the ambulatory market.
“Both the tethered and non-tethered ambulatory EHR markets show signs of maturing,” commented Brendan FitzGerald, HIMSS Analytics Research Director, on the findings of the report.
“We’ve done this five years in a row, and I think the maturing of the market is a nice take-away,” he says. “What we’re seeing is that that high adoption rate across not only hospital-owned but free-standing physician practices as well. That’s a positive for the industry.”
One big recent shift, says FitzGerald, is that, “As we get further down the road of meeting meaningful use, and stepping up to meet those guidelines, more and more folks are leaning toward joining a health information exchange. Nearly half of the respondents, 46 percent or so, were looking to do that, on either a statewide, regional or hospital basis.”
Despite all the challenges practices are facing, from financial pressures to government mandates, he says physician practices are embracing HIE “enthusiastically,” for the most part.
That’s primarily “because of where the industry is headed, in terms of accountable care,” says FitzGerald. “There is that need and want to improve care and cut costs across the board.”
Even as they look toward a future of health information exchange, physicians nowadays are overwhelming focused on Stage 1 meaningful use. “That’s what they’re grappling with now,” he says. “We’ve seen in the industry the date for Stage 2 MU get pushed out, so what they’re focused on is making the practice more efficient within the framework they’ve set up: Redefining workflows, getting comfortable with using their in-house solutions, and ultimately increasing the quality of care for their patients.”
To access the report, click here. (PDF)