1 in 4 four healthcare execs believes EMRs have helped meet consumer needs

Electronic medical records (EMRs) have the promise of increasing efficiency, but only 25 percent of healthcare executives agree the technology has helped achieve the growing needs of consumers, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute.

Currently, 96 percent of non-federal hospitals and 87 percent of office-based physicians have implemented EMRs. However, intended to make patient documentation more efficient, the technology often faces backlash from professional users who worry EMRs are taking time away from patients or that they pose a risk to patient information. The report includes input from 300 healthcare executives to gauge current feelings and practices about EMRs with recommendations for the future.

Findings included:

  • 25 percent of executives strongly agree that EMRs have helped their organization reach the growing demands of consumers.
  • 26 percent strongly agree that EMRs have helped their organization compete.
  • 23 percent strongly agree EMRs have helped their organizations achieve improved population health and value-based care.
  • 48 percent of providers believe EMRs are successful in collecting clinical data during patient visits, but 31 percent report the need for additional technology to integrate data from outside systems.
  • 50 percent report EMRs are successful in improving population health, but 36 percent state that more mature data models are needed for financial integration.
  • 45 percent support the effective patient portals provided by EMRs, but 41 percent needed additional technology to improve patient engagement.
  • 33 percent believe EMRs were effective in conducting research, but 42 percent used additional third-party vendors to achieve more conclusive analyses.
  • 58 percent of clinicians believe EMRs have improved the patient experience and quality of care.

In response to their findings, researchers presented recommendations to improve EMR utilization and the patient experience. These recommendations included viewing EMRs as a strategic asset, ensuring data governance is on track with technological advances, purchasing data models through partnerships and using proprietary data as a revenue source.