Physicians who own their practices may require more help to implement electronic health records than those who do not, a new study finds.
Doc-owners find EHR adoption more taxing: survey
Using survey data from more than 150 physicians, taken during a Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative pilot, researchers from Boston-based not-for-profit system Partners HealthCare assessed physicians' perceptions about the difficulties associated with EHR implementation. Of the respondents, more than half said implementation was "somewhat difficult," while 35% called the EHR implementation process "very difficult."
Roughly a quarter of responding physicians who did not have any ownership stake in their practices said they considered implementation very difficult. But that share jumped to 38% for physicians with full or partial ownership.
Physician owners may perceive the implementation process as more challenging because they have to consider the financial risks involved, the authors wrote. The study is published online on the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association's website.
"Because ownership is generally associated with greater levels of responsibility for day-to-day practice operations and management, these physicians probably experienced more underlying challenges associated with EHR implementation and workflow transformation," according to the study. "Physician owners probably bear financial risk for failure of implementation out of proportion to payers or publicly funded health plans who benefit from patient safety and quality but not as directly from practice efficiency or revenue cycle management."
Physician owners may benefit from increased training and additional financial support when implementing EHRs, the authors said.
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