Recent findings state that while a number of physicians in California have to adopted EMRs; use is limited and in most cases does not meet the requirements set forth by the federal government. The research conducted by the University of San Francisco in conjunction with the state board and California Department of Health Care Services brings to light an important issue – adoption numbers are not likely to reflect proficient use. Out of the physicians surveyed, 71% were reported to have EMRs. However, only 30% of those surveyed had EMRs that were configured to meet the 12 meaningful use requirements.
While 61% of physicians using EMRs were able to create clinical notes, only 45% were able to generate performance and quality indicator reports. EMRs are designed to help providers improve overall quality through the use of reporting and structured data. Physicians unable to monitor performance or analyze data would not only miss out on potential incentive payments but may fail to improve practice productivity.
’The whole point is to utilize the data in a way that helps you improve the quality of care,’ says one physician ’by working out utilization ratio and peak hours, I was able to reduce our patient wait time exponentially.’
The research also stated that practice size is likely to be the key indicator in predicting if it would have an EMR or not. Physicians working in large medical groups, hospital corporations or the military were more likely to use an EMR than a smaller practice. Community healthcare centers, rural clinics and other practices serving Medicaid and most of the uninsured population were less likely to have an EMR solution.
Another key finding was that 70% of the physicians eligible for incentive payments did not have EHRs that could meet all of the 12 objectives of meaningful use.
Janet M. Coffman the lead author of the report published by California Department of Health Care Services highlighted the importance of the Medicaid and Medicare incentives in paving a path for these organizations.