It’s no secret that electronic health records have become the staple of digital healthcare due to all the benefits that arise from the implementation of said technology. While the adoption has been on the rise and most medical institutions in the United States have implemented some form of this technology, we still have a long way to go regarding the successful implementation and utilization of electronic health records software, due to implementation challenges regarding burnout, cost, or other factors.
EHR Implementation Challenges
Some of the more mainstream challenges of this technology’s implementation are the fact that it is the leading cause of burnout among doctors and clinicians. Previous research suggested that EHRs are directly related to clinician burnout: about 13% of physicians reported higher levels of stress and burnout due to this system’s integration into their practice. Some of the common physician complaints refer to the fact that patient data input has become much more arduous and that it cuts into the time the physicians would spend with their patients or family.
Even though the adoption of electronic health records in the united states is on the rise, the adoption itself doesn’t paint the whole picture as we need to take into account the satisfaction rates. For now, we can mention that, aside from the burnout and additional workload, this technology usually has a high cost (averaging more than $160, 000, with at least $85, 000 going into first-year maintenance).
But the trouble doesn’t end there. An EHR system needs to have all the necessary features that make it interoperable. That is why the government put forward legislation such as the ONC Final Rule Act, and compliance with said rule nominates a health institution for numerous financial benefits while allowing it to avoid penalties.
The Cures Act defines failure to comply as “information blocking” and thus health IT developers of certified health IT and HINs and HIEs will be subject to civil monetary penalties (CMPs) for engaging in the practice of “information blocking”. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has proposed a maximum penalty of up to $1 million per violation but the exact penalties remain to be determined.
Even though this technology has its limitations, it is undeniable that it also brings forward numerous benefits that stand to benefit patients, providers, payors, and ultimately most of the affected parties. Some of the EHR benefits include cost reduction (usually this technology starts making a net profit for providers after the two-year mark), improved patient outcomes, and enhanced patient engagement, among others.
It’s no surprise that the global EHR market was valued at $115 billion in 2022, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.4% until 2030.
Coupled with financial incentives, both in terms of incentives offered for successful implementation and penalties arising from failure to do so have influenced the following EHR adoption statistics:
- 96% of hospitals in the United States have adopted EHRs in 2021. Back in 2008, this number was 9%.
- 78% of office-based physicians have adopted EHRs in 2021. Back in 2008, this number was 17%.
- By 2021, the adoption rate of any EHR across hospital service types was: 86% in non-Federal general acute; 84% in psychiatric; 75% in Specialty; 85% in Rehabilitation, 97% in children, and 92% in Acute Long-Term hospitals.
The reason for this adoption can be seen in the aforementioned benefits as opposed to the cons – the cost of implementation, burnout, adding of necessary features, etc. The adoption of electronic health records in the United States does give us valuable insight, but it doesn’t mean much if we don’t know how this technology is faring in practice.
Among different subgroups of medical professionals, we’ve seen reports of different levels of satisfaction. According to a KLAS research report, hospital medicine providers reported the highest overall EHR satisfaction score of 36.5 on a 100-point satisfaction scale. From there, the scores just go lower with the overall satisfaction rates among different subgroups of medical professionals: Pathology 24.3; Pediatrics 24; Geriatrics 22.9, and family medicine 22.7.
EHR satisfaction takes a sour turn from here. Other specialties within the medical industries reported lower scores on a 100-point scale, most notably the orthopedic respondents whose satisfaction rate was a – 3.2 grade, followed by cardiology 1.6, plastic surgery 2.1, and neurosurgery 2.2.
All the data suggests that, while we see higher adoption rates of this technology, we must find ways to tackle the ongoing problems with this technology implementation. According to CIN, despite the established benefits, there are a variety of barriers to the adoption of the EHR including cost, time to learn new functions, lost productivity during implementation, the complexity of functions, and system issues.
Our engineers with industry-specific knowledge have spent three decades developing digital health solutions in the competitive healthcare landscape. We understand the challenges of implementation, and we already have a number of successful deployments in our portfolio. Take a look below at some of our previous software, which focused on resolving all the issues around EHR adoption, and which qualified our clients for ONC Certifications. If you wish to learn more, reach out to us for a free consultation.
ONC Certification for Behavioral Health EHR
Patient Registration App With EHR Integration