Physicians who have an ownership stake in their medical practice are more likely to consider electronic health record implementation very difficult, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, CMIO reports.
For the study, researchers at Boston University Medical School and Boston Medical Center surveyed 156 Massachusetts physicians who participated in a pilot program run by the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, a not-for-profit organization that encourages health IT adoption. Researchers surveyed the physicians first in 2005 — before their practices had implemented an EHR system — and again in 2009, after their practices had completed EHR implementation.
In the study, researchers defined “physician owners” as doctors with a full or partial ownership stake in their medical practice.
Among all of the surveyed physicians, researchers found that:
- 35% reported that EHR implementation was very difficult;
- 54% reported that EHR implementation was somewhat difficult; and
- 12% reported that EHR implementation was not difficult.
Researchers found that 38% of physician owners considered EHR implementation very difficult, compared with 26% of non-owners.
According to the study authors, the findings suggest that physician owners are more likely to see challenges in EHR adoption because they bear a certain amount of financial risk related to owning, operating and managing a medical practice.
Researchers recommended that organizations and government agencies working to promote health IT adoption in medical practices focus on physician owners and the role that non-physician employees play in implementing EHRs (Gale, CMIO, 1/17).