|Survey Results: Healthcare Technology Advances As Physician Frustration Grows
More physician leaders are embracing technological
advances, such as electronic medical records, but most still consider
them clunky and unresponsive to their needs, according to a recent
survey by the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE).
The findings were published in the Physician Executive Journal, ACPE’s journal of medical management.
ACPE conducted the same survey back in 2004. Five years later, there were some surprising findings:
- More than 64 percent of respondents said they used electronic medical records, up from 33 percent in 2004.
- About 44 percent said their organization uses computerized order entry, while only about 33 percent used it five years ago.
- More than 38 percent said they used pharmaceutical bar coding, up from 20 percent in 2004.
However, while the use of technology may be on the rise,
physician attitudes regarding it haven’t changed much since 2004.
Some physicians embrace the new measures, but a much larger number
viewed healthcare technology as frustrating and difficult to use.
One physician even said that adopting electronic medical
records was "the worst aspect of my 25 years in medicine. It has ruined
doctor productivity, produced lower quality care and encouraged notes
that are false to the point of fraud."
Others said the cost was prohibitive and the software
difficult to implement. A common complaint –especially among
physicians who shuttle between hospitals and private practice –
was that the available systems don’t do a good job of talking to
Many also said physicians aren’t given enough
input when designing the software used by medical centers. They said
the software developers don’t have enough clinical knowledge to
create true time-saving devices. As one physician scoffed, "Our
administrator hired an idiot for our Internetperson."
Or as another put it: "It’s difficult to keep IT
interested in the discussion. They don’t take the time to really
understand the problem and want us to adapt to whatever software they
come up with."
Address: American College of Physician Executives, 400 N. Ashley Dr., Suite 400, Tampa, FL 33602; (800) 562-8088, www.acpe.org.