The American Academy of Family Physicians' (AAFP) Family Practice Management Journal has released a new report outlining physician coercion when switching EHRs. The survey shows doctors are being forced to switch EHRs and points to widespread dissatisfaction among physicians who've switched. Most respondents claim that their new EHR does not improve productivity, and only 39% of physicians are happy with their new systems. Physicians cite revenue, productivity losses and traumatizing EHR transitions.
"While our sample is too small to suggest winners and losers in the EHR marketplace, we do see some suggestive numbers. EpicCare Ambulatory and Praxis had the most net gains in customers among our respondents," explain the authors. However, when user satisfaction was compared between the two EHRs, the difference was compelling. Praxis eclipsed Epic and outranked all other systems.
Among the reasons behind switching EHRs, respondents reported that the change was often not by choice, but was forced upon them. Physicians are quoted: "We were forced to [change EHRs] as part of the larger organization. [The] decision to switch was made at executive level. [It was a] business decision by hospital owner attracted to the product's billing and financial reporting, not driven by clinical users' interests." The survey states, "Those who were personally involved in making the switch tend to look more favorably on their new system than those who did not make their own decision... Of the 140 respondents who said they were involved in the decision to change systems, 61 percent are happy with their new EHR; of those not involved in the decision, only 19 percent are happy with their new EHR."
"The solution is interoperability between hospitals and physician-selected EHRs," says Richard Low, MD, founder and CEO of Praxis EMR. "Hospitals must share clinical information with physicians, so administrators wish to keep everyone on one system. However, improving medical quality and patient care should be the overriding goal. Imposing technology on physicians does not achieve this objective. Interoperability implies that doctors may select what is best for them."
Praxis EMR was the #1 EHR in the survey of 73 EHR systems, with zero negative responses to the statement, "I am happy with our new EHR system."