11/17/2006 | RESOURCES

How much are Physicians really adopting EHRs in Maryland?

Audacious Inquiry, as a subcontractor to Dynamed Solutions, teamed with Erickson Retirement Communities (ERC) to develop a research survey on behalf of the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) about the state’s physicians’ readiness for health information exchange (HIE). The responses gathered will ultimately help to shape the criteria for HIE efforts in the state. In addition, the guide will highlight key challenges faced in HIE efforts and create a communications mechanism for community exchanges to ask questions and share lessons learned.

The purpose of the survey was to evaluate the state of Electronic Health Record (EHR) implementation, perception, and integration among physicians’ practices in the state of Maryland. The survey also gave insight into the catalysts and barriers to EHR adoption. Of the 4,902 physicians’ practices in Maryland, responses were gathered from a statistically significant sample of 244 offices over the course of three weeks. Physicians who acknowledged using EHRs were asked questions about EHR functionality, EHR vendor choice, the transition from paper records, and impacts on the practice’s clinical outcomes and workflow efficiencies. Physicians not currently using EHRs were asked questions about EHR readiness, level of discussion around EHRs, and possible adoption incentives. All participants were also asked to rate their level of understanding of HIE and the potential value that HIE could provide.

After sharing preliminary findings with the MHCC, the scope of the project was expanded from its initial purpose to allow further synthesis of findings and to write a report identifying areas for further research. Regressions were run to determine correlations between variables such as practice size, practice type, self-reported knowledge of HIE, length of time using EHRs, and EHR adoption rate. Findings were then compiled into more comprehensive report.

The EHR survey highlights AI’s experience planning and conducting market research for government clients. In the process, AI has also enhanced its substantive knowledge surrounding EHRs and other health information technologies. The final report will be distributed to EHR survey participants. It will also be used to help guide our clients’ future HIE initiatives and offer them insight on how to better position themselves in the HIT market.