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Independent physicians seek EHR systems that meet their unique needs

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Independent physicians know what they want – and they want more – from their electronic health record (EHR) systems, but many are underutilizing their EHR’s current features. These are the findings of a recent study conducted by Black Book Research that included larger practices with a dozen physicians and more, as well as smaller and solo practices.

According to the study, “93 percent of practices use the three basic EHR functionalities most often: data repository, order entry and results review.” Among those larger practices, with 12 or more physicians, 30 percent expect to replace their current system within the next three years.

The Black Book study found that a significant majority of independent physicians “are looking for cloud-based and mobile tools that offer on-demand data and visibility into financial performance, compliance tracking and quality goals” as well as “speech recognition capabilities and support for telehealth and virtual care.”

Even though independent physicians indicated in the poll that they want more out of their EHR, most of the smaller and solo practices are “still under-utilizing advanced features such as electronic messaging, clinical decision support and patient engagement tools.” In addition, those providers still see interoperability as a “sticking point.”

Independent physicians may need to ramp up their use of advanced technology, including cloud-based EHRs, as younger patients see those aspects of a medical practice as a growing need. A similar study of consumers, also conducted by Black Book, found that “a commanding 91 percent of patients younger than 50 said they prefer tech-savvy practices with advanced capabilities and connectivity.”

Smaller, independent practices will have to make that investment in EHR capabilities that will benefit their patients as well as their practice to continue to be successful. Elation Health is focused on helping those independent physicians by building a powerful technology-driven ecosystem that will become the home base of every patient’s health, and eventually transform the delivery of healthcare itself.