The latest technology can be helpful to independent physicians as a tool for optimizing their practice as well as for providing high quality care to their patients. However, technology must typically be updated or replaced to keep up with new capabilities and with the changing needs of the independent practice. Sometimes physicians find that they need to replace their practice technology for other reasons, as was the case with many of the respondents to a recent survey conducted by Reaction Data.
The research organization “wanted to know which technologies providers are considering, which solutions they may be replacing and why” so they asked 153 physicians several questions about their current – and future – technology needs. The survey participants were made up of physicians in internal medicine (20%), family medicine (12%), pediatrics (17%), orthopedic surgery (27%), and other specialty areas. The survey also include participation by practice leadership (10%) and chief medical officers (5%).
Results of the Outpatient EHR Replacement survey included the fact that 39% of those outpatient providers surveyed were considering replacing technology solutions for their practice within the next 18 months. While more than a quarter of the providers (27%) were considering replacing their electronic health record (EHR) solution, the physicians were also considering replacing their patient engagement technology (18%), revenue cycle management (12%), and population health technology (12%).
Reasons given for replacing technology within the next 18 months varied. A third of the survey respondents (33%) said their current solutions were not fitting their practice needs. A fifth of the providers participating in the survey indicating that they recognize that other technology systems in the market offer their practices better value. Other reasons including having a negative experience with their current service model, including the support level (19%), lack of new functionality released for their current technology (18%), the cost of their current system (5%), and the fact that their organization is planning to align with another entity (5%).
When looking for a new technology solution, a fourth of the survey participants (25%) indicated they would need to consider the product’s ease of use, 23% said the product’s features and functionality would be a major consideration, and 21% indicated that interoperability and integration capabilities were important factors in their choice of a new solution.