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Technology / Networks

Digital health hits plateau, patient time & usability top doctors’ concerns

The use of IT in healthcare has been put under the digital microscope, with English doctors taking a transactional, generally positive, approach to Electronic Health Records (EHR).

This positive approach is reflected in the adoption of EHR, with 86% of English doctors saying they are more proficient at using EHR than two years ago.

However, the hope that digital health would move toward a more collaborative delivery of healthcare has not been realised, with the top three Health IT functions used by English doctors mainly transactional.

70% of doctors received clinical results electronically; 68% entered patient notes electronically; and 66% electronically accessed patient notes from those seen at a different health organisation.

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The report also shows that English doctors remain positive in regards to patient updating of personal electronic medical records (EMR).

88% of English doctors said that patient updating of personal electronic medical records (EMR) is helping with patient engagements, with a further 86% said that it helped patient satisfaction. Only 55%, however, said that patient updating of EMR helped the accuracy of record.

Although positive in outlook, there has been a plateau in this perception towards digital health since 2012, with negligible increases.

Between 2012 and 2015, English doctors who believe EMR has led to a reduction in medical errors has only risen 4%, while those who believe EMR improves health outcomes for patients has risen only 2%. The belief that EMR has improved the quality of treatment decisions actually decreased 2%.

In addition to the plateau, doctors have also raised concerns over their contact time with patients, with 5 in 10 saying that healthcare IT has decreased time spent with patients. Of concern was also the 47% of doctors who found their organisation’s EHR systems hard to use – highlighting the problems with user experience.

The report’s author, Accenture, recommends doctors embrace new technology platforms and the collaborative doctor-patient care models that underpin them. Accenture also urges doctors to play a role in the configurability and usability of platforms.

Accenture commissioned a six-country survey of 2,619 doctors to assess their adoption and attitudes toward electronic health records and healthcare IT. The Accenture doctors survey 2015 polled 502 doctors in England.

This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.