Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why is there doctor resistance to electronic health records?

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Many doctors have been seeing their patients for years.  Many of the visits hinge upon their routine of reviewing the patient records which come from a file, not from an electronic source.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services released their Stage II rules that set goals and regulations for doctors offices to move to this new electronic record keeping format.  To this point, according to the Washington Post, 55% of doctors have been taking the steps to move to electronic health records, and many more  will as a penalty is set to be given out for those who don't starting in 2016.

With the transition to the electronic health records daunting, the the CMS has offered reimbursement for doctors who transition.  But with the threat of security breaches, changes in the way doctors meet with their patients, the challenges power outages can cause and the high cost of transition, many doctors are still avoiding the switch to digital. Even the threat of 1% cuts in Medicare payments in 2015 is not changing minds, even though it escalates to a 3% cut by 2018.

However, the change will be coming to all doctors offices.  As the digital natives integrate into the profession, they'll be more likely to integrate EHRs into their routine, making the switch gradual but for the better.  Many doctors who have made the switch agree.  Joseph Quash, a cardiologist in Northwest Washington, who transitioned to EHRs three years ago stated, “When you first go to EHR, it’s really a nightmare for the first three months in terms of trying to get comfortable with the system.  But now, it helps our work flow, and we have fingertip access to information.”

What can the transition to these records mean to the Pharma Industry?   The ability to digitally deliver discounts and coupons which can be redeemed at the consumer’s pharmacy, the opportunity to create links to request eSampling and sales force visits and a chance to provide dosage and formulary information to HCPs at the point of prescribing.  These are just several of the topics Daiichi Sankyo, Merck, Pfizer and Shire will discuss at the upcoming ePharma Summit this March 4-6, 2013 in New York City.  We'll be releasing the brand new agenda later today, so stay tuned!  If you'd like to join us, register today and mention code XP1806BLOG to save 10% off the current rate!

What's the biggest opportunity you see for Pharma companies with the transition for physicians from paper records to electronic health records?
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