Doctors doubt electronic promise.
More physicians are questioning whether electronic health records
will improve care while saving money, according to a new survey. The
practice management firm athenahealth and the Web site Sermo reported
that 64% of physicians (7% fewer than in 2010) said they believe that
EHRs' benefits will outweigh their cost. In addition, 68% (5% fewer
than last year) said that patient-care benefits justify the cost of
EHRs. Physicians also were less likely to predict that EHRs will help
them reduce medical errors, improve efficiency, or reduce costs.
However, the doctors' overall opinion on EHRs held steady from 2010
to 2011, with 77% reporting a favorable view of the technology.
"Sliding sentiment for [EHRs] is likely explained by the fact that
doctors aren't just kicking the tires anymore," said
athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush in a statement. "They are actually
trying these things out in their daily work routines only to find their
current form does not live up to the most basic of promises," Mr.