45% Of Physicians Say EMRs Make Care Worse And Cost Practices Money

It’s another case of hate to say we told you so. Looks like for too many doctors, their worst EMR fears have come true, proving to be expensive, a drain on staff and technically inadequate. A total of 45% of respondents to a study said that in fact, patient care is worse since implementing EMR.

The research, according to marketing and research firm MPI Group and Medical Economics, concludes that Meaningful Use incentives aren’t enough to cover unexpected staffing expenses and lost physician productivity. In fact, 77% of the largest practices spent nearly $200,000 on their systems.

Findings also show that almost two-thirds of doctors would not purchase their current EMR system again because of poor functionality and high costs.

The Medical Economics survey was conducted from November to December 2013 with responses from nearly 1,000 physicians administered by the research firm MPI Group. The survey results were corroborated by the findings of a January 2013 RAND Corp. study, detailed in Health Affairs, The New York Times, USA Today, and other national media organizations, criticizing the usability and interconnectedness of current EHR systems.

According to one respondent, “We used to see 32 patients a day with one tech, and now we struggle to see 24 patients a day with four techs. And we provide worse care.”

Other key findings from the national survey include:

  • 73% of the largest practices would not purchase their current EHR system.
  • About 60% of respondents in family medicine would also make another EHR choice.
  • 67% of physicians dislike the functionality of their EHR systems outright.
  • 45% of respondents say patient care is worse since implementing an EHR.
  • Nearly 23% of internists say patient care is significantly worse.
  • 65% of respondents say their EHR systems result in financial losses for the practice.

And now you see why we started from scratch with our direct care EMR, right? This is absolute bollocks. We’re trapped in a system where practices, desperate to stay in business dealing with collusive insurance companies, turn to the government for help. The government incentivize the companies to follow bureaucratic guideline to rake in substantial subsidies. But in turn, the quality of the good does not reflect what the market needs — what we get isn’t innovation, we get clunky machines and wasted clicks, all in the name of money. Money that isn’t even going where it deserves, to the docs doing the work!

Finally, the market’s yelling, THIS ISN’T WORKING. Uncle Sam, your product isn’t fixing healthcare. In fact, your red tape’s just getting in the way.