Texas physicians' use of health information technology continues to rise, according to the 2009 TMA Electronic Medical Record (EMR) survey [ PDF ]. The survey measured physicians' utilization of office technologies such as EMRs, e-prescribing, and health information exchanges.
Forty-three percent of responding physicians report using an EMR system, up from 33 percent in 2007 and 27 percent in 2005. Physicians reported the top EMR feature as electronic charting. Their major complaint is that data input is still difficult and time consuming.
The survey also indicates that EMR costs are decreasing. The median reported purchase, training, and implementation costs are $18,000 per physician, down from $25,000 in 2007. As for the federal EMR stimulus incentives, 59 percent of Texas physicians indicated interest in trying to qualify.
"There's good and bad news in this survey," said Joseph Schneider, MD, chair of TMA's Ad Hoc Committee on Health Information Technology. "More physicians are using EMRs, but a significant portion are having technology and usability problems that in some cases threaten physician practice viability, patient safety, and continuity of care. Physicians need EMRs that are much more intuitive and easy to use, like Amazon, Google, or the iPhone."
The full survey report is on the TMA Web site. Click here and scroll down to Articles.
Action , Feb. 15, 2010