Study reveals specialist-PCP gap in EHR adoption


While policymakers and researchers debate whether or not EHRs lead physicians to order more tests, another new study points to a different problem.

In Ambulatory EMR by Specialty Study 2012: Finding the Fit, KLAS Research reports that specialists aren’t adopting EHRs as quickly as their primary care colleagues.

The reason? They can’t find products that they feel suit their needs.

One consultant suggested that “specialists like their EHRs less than primary care doctors do because most systems were developed for primary care and lack many of the features and templates that the specialists' work requires.

He went on to note: “Ophthalmologists, for instance, have to take pictures of the eye and do all these eye tests, so they need totally different things in an EHR. Oncology is really hard because of the way oncologists do their chemotherapy and the supplies that they have to track."

Now, a look at the numbers reveals that the differences aren’t necessarily dramatic, but it stands to reason that if specialists lag behind over the long run, that can only impede efforts to establish the interconnectivity, and the resulting exchange of patient information, that policymakers are aiming for.

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