Survey: As healthcare IT advances, physician frustration grows

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Although more healthcare organizations are using healthcare IT, there is still a significant divide between physicians who embrace the new systems and those who are frustrated by them, according to results from the 2009 Health Care Technology Survey released by the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE).

The 2009 ACPE survey was open from Nov. 15 to Dec. 20. Approximately 950 members of ACPE responded.

According to the results, more than 64 percent of respondents reported using EMRs currently in their organizations. Another 44 percent reported using computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and 38 percent said they are using pharmaceutical barcoding.

When asked the reasons behind their adoption or plans to adopt healthcare IT, ACPE said the respondents were split:

  • About 33 percent said that technology reduces liability and medical errors
  • About 28 said it led to more accurate recordkeeping ; and
  • About 21 percent said they were just trying to stay current.

Almost 40 percent of respondents listed a lack of money or resources as the biggest obstacle to implementing new healthcare IT, and another 20 percent reported a lack of support or physician buy-in, according to the survey.

The "biggest source of frustration" was the lack of input from physicians when designing or implementing healthcare IT systems, according to ACPE.

"Many said that involving clinicians at the planning stages would pre-empt many of the problems that crop up later," the ACPE stated. However, 32 percent of respondents said they did have one physician working part-time on technology issues, while 16.6 percent had little to no involvement in technology decisions.