At least 30% of healthcare organizations may already have some form of computerized physician order entry, according to a survey of healthcare information technologists.
According to the Newton, Mass.-based Medical Records Institute, 20.8% of respondents to the group's fifth annual survey of electronic health records trends and usage say they have CPOE for laboratory orders without clinical decision support; another 12.8% have lab CPOE with advanced support engines. About the same number of IT professionals work with systems that have radiology or pharmacy CPOE.
Earlier research has suggested that less than 10% of healthcare provider organizations use CPOE, though the results may be skewed by the survey demographics. The Medical Records Institute took the poll starting at its annual TEPR (Toward an Electronic Patient Record) conference last month, an event geared toward the technically savvy.
The results include responses from 759 IT professionals at provider organizations; surveys turned in by product vendors, consultants and payers were excluded.
According to the poll, the top motivating factor for EMRs from a management and administrative perspective is workflow management, named by 82.5% of respondents; 77.9% mentioned clinical documentation to support billing claims, while 76.9% called patient safety a motivation.
On the clinical side, 85.7% say EMRs facilitate sharing of patient records among practitioners within a healthcare enterprise, while 84.8% cite care-quality improvement. More than 80% of respondents also mention a desire to improve clinical processes and workflow and reduce medical errors.
Slightly more than half of the IT professionals who took the survey have a client-server setup as their primary EMR platform. Another 27.8% base their EMRs on mainframe computers. Barely 5% rely on application service providers, a model that has fallen out of favor in the last two years.
Among those with mainframe-based systems. 65.9% also have a client-server platform, 36.5% have Web-based access, and 35.3% use mobile or wireless technology. Up-and-coming mobile and wireless technology is the most popular secondary platform for those with primary client-server systems, named by one-third of respondents in the client-server category.
Laptop computers remain the most popular mobile devices, used by 47% of those with mobile or wireless healthcare IT access, though more than one-third offer an option for handheld personal digital assistants. More than 20% have turned to the Tablet PC--a technology barely a year old in its current incarnation--and one in six enterprises with mobile and wireless healthcare applications has deployed advanced cell phones for IT access.
Although the Tablet PC and PDA are catching on quickly, only about 12% of respondents frequently enter clinical information with an electronic stylus or some other form of touch-screen technology. The traditional keyboard-mouse combination remains far and away the most popular means of EMR data entry, according to the survey.
More than 82% of hospitals, integrated delivery systems and managed care organizations with EMRs have systems with both inpatient and outpatient capabilities.
In the ambulatory setting, 42% of EMRs are integrated with practice management systems and 35% interface with separate systems. Only 23% of ambulatory EMRs stand alone without practice management systems, the survey says.