Patients might be warming up to electronic health records, but physicians are apparently cooling down to them, according to a new survey.
AetnaHealth’s annual Physician Sentiment Index reported on a survey of 507 physicians — three-fourths of whom are specialists — in Sermo’s member base. What it found was an increasing number of negative opinions about EHRs, ACOs and pay-for-performance models among doctors.
More than three-fourths of physicians surveyed were using EMR/EHRs in their practices, compared with 70 percent last year, but fewer reported feeling somewhat or very favorable about them.
Although electronic records have been lauded by many politicians, researchers and industry leaders as a cost-saving measure, some research has questioned that, and it appears that physicians are becoming increasingly discouraged, too.
Last year, nearly two-thirds of the survey’s respondents believed that the benefits of an EHR outweighed the cost. This year, that percentage slipped to just over half. Further, only a quarter of respondents agreed with the statement that EHRs reduce cost.
Another factor that might be fueling their growing negativity is decreased face time with patients, as 72 percent of respondents agreed that patient contact suffered from EHR/EMRs.
Here are a few more interesting findings from the survey:
- One-third of respondents felt EHR/EMRs were designed with them in mind, compared with nearly half in 2011.
- 35 percent believe shifting to a pay-for-performance model would negatively affect quality of care, compared with 22 percent last year. More than half think it would negatively affect profitability.
- Significantly more physicians this year believe switching to an ACO would have a negative impact on their practice.
- 40 percent of respondents attempted to qualify for meaningful use payments in the last year. Of those whole did, 82 percent of them succeeded.
- But only 4 percent described their experiences meeting meaningful use as somewhat or very simple.
- A majority of physicians believe that getting paid has become increasingly burdensome and complex, and that dealing with payers is becoming more intrusive.
- Only 16 percent of physicians said they want to keep the Affordable Care Act as it is — but that’s up from 11 percent last year.
[Photo from AetnaHealth]