Physicians cite interoperability issues, EHR concerns in survey

More than 60 percent of physicians said the healthcare industry was doing a poor job with interoperability, according to an online survey. Meanwhile, 95 percent of physicians said they experienced a delay or difficulty in delivering medical care because patients’ health records were not accessible or shared.

The survey was conducted by athenahealth and included interviews with 2,922 doctors from March 24 to April 2.

Of the respondents, 79 percent agreed it was “very important” to improve the ability of EHRs to access relevant patient data from other EHRs and to maintain the security and privacy of patient data. In addition, 98 percent of the physicians said it was “very” or “somewhat” important to engage patients in their treatment plan and follow-up care.

The most common types of information that were unavailable, incomplete or inaccurate were medication lists (77 percent of respondents), laboratory or imaging tests (64 percent), problem list (60 percent), specialist and consultant notes (60 percent) and discharge summaries (53 percent).

When asked the letter grade physicians would give the healthcare industry for interoperability, 5 percent said they would give an “A,” 9 percent said they would give a “B,” 25 percent said they would give a “C,” 32 percent said they would give a “D” and 29 percent said they would give an “F.”