Studies show the uphill battle toward EHR software use

Small medical practices are leading the way in adopting EHR technology.

Small medical practices are leading the way in adopting EHR technology.

A new survey demonstrates that the healthcare industry is still heavily dependent on paperwork. Despite the growing use and benefits of electronic health records (EHR), many medical practices are still relying heavily on paper-based products, according to Anoto.

More than 50 percent of survey takers claim that paper is a primary source for their daily tracking needs. Along with this, the respondents foresee an increase in paper recording with the further implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

To further describe this paper-based reliance, survey takers state they spend between a quarter and three-quarters of their day processing paperwork. On top of this, up to 80 percent of the respondents are using paper records even with an EHR program in place. Nonetheless, 90 percent of survey takers with an active EHR system in place claim that this technology enhances patient care.

Another study reveals that small medical offices with a maximum of two practicing physicians are leading the way in adopting EHR technology. The report suggests that doctors of small practices realize the practicality of moving away from paper-based transcripts and embracing information technology (IT).

SK&A, a healthcare research organization, disclosed the results of the "Physician Office Usage of Electronic Health Records Software" report, which states that in 2011 small medical practices have increased EHR use by 6 percent while EHR implementation in bigger offices has only increased by 2 percent. Another point given is that overall adoption of EHR has gone up to 45.6 percent. This report was based on a telephone survey of over 240,281 U.S. medical organizations. 

Some other points to note include the increase of EHR use with the rise of number of exam rooms per medical practice or hospital and the growth of EHR use with the increase of daily patient volume.

The use of electronic medical records (EMR) will go a long way in reducing the amount of paperwork for any medical practice.  For a chiropractor, it would be extremely beneficial to incorporate chiropractic EHR software in their medical practice, as this product is much more specific to his or her needs.

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