Your doctor tends to use electronic health records if you're older or richer: a new riff on meaningful use:
"There's a new survey on EHRs out that most industry news outlets have headlined, 'More doctors have gone digital.' This, directly from the survey's title, Doctors Gone Digital, conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media for Practice Fusion, the EHR developer.The Practice Fusion survey was conducted from February 5-7, 2010, by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media, via random digit dialing phone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adult interview subjects aged 18 or older nationwide. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus three percentage points.
Other important points elicited in the report include -Forty-eight percent, or nearly 1 in 2 patients in the U.S., has noticed that their doctors have their records stored digitally on a computer. This is, of course, good news indeed. But under the proverbial hood of the survey data, you find a subtext: that if you're older or more affluent, your physician is more likely to have access to electronic health records. A slightly higher percentage of patients over 65 (52.6%) have digital records, compared with only 40% of people 25-34. Furthermore, 52.9% of people with incomes over both $50K and $75K have access to electronic health records, compared to 46.5% of patients with incomes between $20-29.9K.
- Of patients who reported that their doctor used a computer during their last visit, 45.2 percent said their doctor made the switch to an electronic system during the previous two years; 14.3 percent said the switch occurred in just the last six months.
- Patients who reported their doctors did not use a computer were split on their doctor adopting the technology. Of these respondents, 38.4 percent wanted their doctor to "go digital," while 32.7 percent did not and 28.9 percent were not sure.
- More women (52.8 percent) than men (43.7 percent) reported EHR use by their doctors.
- Higher income patients saw greater EHR use by their doctors; 52.9 percent for respondents with incomes over $50,000 a year compared to 45.2 percent for those with incomes under $20,000 a year.
- Of note, 14% of physicians who had used an EHR previously either discarded it or replaced it. Most of these (85%) replaced it with another EHR.
- Cost and usability were among the main drivers for EHR adoption. In the Texas survey, EHR purchase, training and implementation costs averaged $18,000 per physician (down from $25,000 in 2007), with monthly maintenance costs averaging $350 per physician (down from $425 in 2007).