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EHR Usability—CIOs Weigh in On What’s Needed to Improve Information Retrieval

  • October 2014
  • 76 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2432016

Summary

Table of Contents

A Frost & Sullivan CIO Survey in US Health IT

The Use of Electronic Health Records

- Today, the practice of medicine is undergoing a major shift because of the rapid uptake of information technology (IT) that is digitizing previously paper-based clinical documentation systems. For clinician end-users, health IT is transformative and disruptive and encompasses everything surrounding collecting, searching, and analyzing all forms of health data. Electronic health records, or EHRs, are at the heart of health IT solutions used by clinicians on a daily basis.
- The US Federal Government promotes the use of EHRs by eligible professionals (physicians, nurses, and other providers working mostly in outpatient settings) and hospitals as part of a widespread effort to transform US healthcare. The primary vehicle of the government’s push for provider use of EHRs is the CMS EHR Incentive Program which began in 2011.
- EHR adoption has accelerated dramatically as a result of the government push and healthcare providers have spent considerable resources, both in capital and time, in implementing these systems. Consequently, the use of EHRs is very widespread in the US.
- In 2013, x% of office-based physicians and x% of non-federal acute care hospitals had adopted some form of EHR.

EHR Pain Points

- In spite of all the good news around the progress that’s been made on EHR adoption, the road has been paved with pitfalls for many providers.
- Key pain points in the use of EHRs are many and include time-consuming data entry tasks and significant difficulties in finding and reviewing data, both of which result in significant productivity losses for clinician end-users as well as potential risks to patient safety.
- Frost & Sullivan recently conducted an online survey of information technology (IT) professionals working in US healthcare provider organizations in conjunction with the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME). The survey ran from mid-March to mid- May, 2014 and primarily targeted healthcare Chief Information Officers (CIOs) working in mid-to-large sized community hospitals.
- The survey looked at several issues pertaining to how EHR technology impacts clinician end-users and particularly tried to gain deeper insights into one of the key EHR pain points—information retrieval.

Key Questions This Study Will Answer

What are some of the common concerns and frustrations that healthcare providers encounter with the use of electronic health records (EHRs)?
What are healthcare providers spending on EHRs and how do they perceive the ROI for those expenditures?
What are some of the key challenges faced by clinician end-users when attempting to retrieve information from their EHR systems?
What are the core technology features needed to improve information retrieval from EHRs?
Who are some of the leading vendors of EHR systems and how do healthcare providers perceive the quality of the search utility within these systems?
Which entities are likely to lead in future innovation to improve EHR search functionality?

Research Objectives

- This survey was designed to gain deeper insights into how healthcare provider organizations, mostly hospitals, feel about the information retrieval or search functionality in their electronic health record systems (EHRs). We particularly wanted to probe the key issues and pain points impacting in how clinicians access structured and unstructured clinical data contained in EHRs. The survey primarily targeted healthcare Chief Information Officers (CIOs) working in community hospitals.
- The survey looks at a variety of issues related to the deployment of EHRs, including –
oTypical expenditures for EHRs and perceptions of ROI
oCommon experience with information retrieval from EHRs
oProblems encountered with information retrieval from EHRs and the reason for those problems
oCore technology features needed to improve EHR search functionality
oExperience with core EHR vendors and the quality of their search utility
oWhether providers deploy any additional technology solutions to address search functionality gap.
- Our healthcare CIO respondent pool ranges from x to x and is thus not large enough to be statistically significant. However, our ongoing monitoring of the health IT market, including EHRs, leads us to believe that the findings revealed in this study are likely to be indicative of broader trends among end-users at mid-sized, non-profit community hospitals. Furthermore, our respondents, as members of the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME), the leading professional organization for health IT professionals in the US, are especially knowledgeable about EHR pain points, particularly around information retrieval.

Methodology

- Frost & Sullivan conducted an online survey of information technology (IT) professionals working in US healthcare provider organizations. The study was carried out in conjunction with the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME).
- The survey ran from mid-March to mid- May, 2014 and was comprised of a series of multiple choice and open-ended questions, many of which were qualitative in nature.
- The maximum number of respondents for questions in the online survey was 66; the average number of respondents ranged between 50 and 66.
- Reporting Notes: Due to rounding, percentages in charts may not represent the exact number of responses for each choice, and may not sum up to 100.0 percent.

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