Improvement needed in sharing of electronic health records

NEWSWIRE:  November 2, 2016

DATELINE: United States of America

More than three-fourths of doctor offices now have an electronic patient records system, but according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the number of practices that send and receive electronic patient information with other healthcare organizations is much smaller.

The CDC says in 2015, 77.9% of all physician’s offices have an electronic patient records system. However, of the 10,302 physicians the CDC uses to formulate its group practice automation numbers, only 38.2% of all doctor offices sent patient information electronically to other organizations and only 38.3% electronically received such information.  

Kaveh Safavi, Accenture Senior Managing Director for global healthcare business, says the biggest obstacles to more doctors sharing electronic patient records information with other healthcare organizations are business-oriented.

“The return of investment for operating and buying an internal-only electronic medical records system may be more obvious to administrators, doctors and staff for running the business,”  Safavi says. “But a group practice may not want to incur the costs of receiving and sending electronic patient information with other parties because they can’t see the immediate value.”

Safavi also says that as healthcare becomes more consumer-focused, technical and web integration become easier, and healthcare industry payment policies change to require more outside networking, more universal patient record data record sharing between doctor offices and the broader healthcare industry will occur.

“My forecast is that in two to five years will see a lot more progress,” he says.  

Read the full article here.