- Despite widespread adoption of EHRs, 36% of medical record administrators report difficulty exchanging patient health records with other providers, especially those on disparate platforms, according to a new Black Book Research survey. That’s just a tad better than the 41% reporting struggles in 2016.
- One-fourth of respondents said they can’t use much meaningful patient information received electronically from outside sources.
- Twenty-seven percent of respondents said information from outside sources was not presented in a useful format — backsliding from 22% who made this claim in 2017.
The survey of more than 3,000 hospital EHR users also found that two-thirds of hospitals aren't using patient information from outside their own EHRs because it’s not available within their workflows. And when data are retrieved from outside systems, 30% of hospital-based doctors say it can’t be trusted.
The report also found that 85% of network physicians expect their health systems’ EHRs to streamline data exchange among integrated delivery providers for population health and other data-intensive initiatives.
As value-based reimbursement models proliferate and more payers and providers turn to population health efforts, these roadblocks in interoperability will continue to be a major problem. Care coordination relies on good communication, but the survey shows that even when providers can exchange data, they don't necessarily get the information they need.
“In 2018, 57% of hospital network physician practices operating on assorted EHRs report they continue to lack the financial and technical expertise to adopt complex interoperability which are compulsory to attain higher reimbursements built into value-based care initiatives by both public and private payers," Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Research, said in announcing the report.
Cerner was the top-ranked EHR vendor for academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, while Epic ranked at the top for large medical centers. Meditech and CPSI Evident came in first for community hospitals and small/rural hospitals, respectively.
The survey reveals some of the struggles providers still have with using EHRs. More than a fifth of hospital IT managers say they are looking for alternative vendors in 2019.
In another recent Black Book survey, nine in 10 practices with six or fewer doctors said they don’t use advanced EHR features such as electronic messaging, clinical decision support, data sharing and patient engagement. And while a majority of large practices reported frequent use of advanced features, 94% of all practices that use EHRs are using basic features associated with patient satisfaction.