How to change physician perceptions about EHRs?

The usage of technology for physicians has always been a challenge. This old myth is not a myth but a fact that physicians do not necessarily like technology. For them it is too clunky, to say the least, shoddy! But hold on, jumping to conclusions isn’t always right. Maybe, they are over thinking too much. Maybe, they do not know that technology in healthcare is the only way forward, all other ways, if any, are now defunct. The use of Electronic Health Records is the way for future healthcare providers. Let’s have a look into some of the steps that could be taken to change the outlook of physicians about EHRs.

Seeing the good side: Providers can earn financial incentives by showing Meaningful Use of EHR software as directed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Why would government force the use of software that isn’t any good for providers? The answer is it is a common misconception that EHRs will slow down their practices’ output. Well over, $7 billion have been issued by CMS to professionals and hospitals, and an estimated $22.5 billion will be paid from 2011 – 2022 to eligible providers who adopt EHR technology. Considering providers can earn huge incentives, they should start using EHR as soon as possible.

Interoperability: Healthcare providers, hospitals, labs, pharmacies, patients and their families through the use of EHRs can be fed with real-time data. EHRs allow for the transfer of patient related data in different file formats too. One key feature of an interoperable system is the ability to provide patient data wherever the patient travels, that is, data across states can be accessed in real time along with the patient.

Cost effective: As a provider, what if you become stagnant? Will you be saving cost? These plethoras of questions rely on this very fact that data cannot be paper-based in the world of technology. It is an outdated way of maintaining patient medical records. With the use of EHR the practice saves storage space by maintaining all records on web. No need to open file cabinets upon cabinets to track a certain patient record. Paper cost money, while managing data electronically costs close to nothing. The staff needed to maintain records is multifold less than what a paper-based practice will require.

Lastly, providers are valid in fearing the fast pace of government in introducing EHRs. But to think it clearly will make them realize that there is no other way, the world has moved ahead in healthcare IT and we have to catch-up now. Scandinavian countries, especially Denmark is leading the way in EHR use. So, why should America remain at the back seat? The perception of the providers can change when they logically evaluate the points discussed above.

 

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