Free Innovative Spirits to Deliver HIT's Promise
For the Record
[The following commentary was written by PatientKeeeper CEO Paul Brient]
Let’s acknowledge that the 2009 HITECH Act was a mixed blessing. On the positive side, it spurred the widespread promulgation of EHR systems in both the inpatient and outpatient settings and laid a digital foundation for 21st-century technology-enabled clinical care. What it didn’t do was produce its intended benefit: to reduce the cost and improve the quality of healthcare in the U.S.
Sadly, healthcare is the one industry in which productivity has suffered as a result of computerization. It is well documented that EHRs hamper physicians’ clinical efficiency; they are even being called the main cause of physician burnout. Even as a recent study reports that health IT use improved at least one medical outcome in 81 percent of relevant research evaluated by its authors, EHRs’ effects on physicians remain problematic. A physician survey from a leading hospital company revealed that physician satisfaction with EHRs is only in the 20 to 30 percent range. No other industry would accept customer satisfaction rates at this level.