Impact Insights

Week in Review 6/26/15

An interesting new HIMSS survey of HIEs, vendors, and providers looks at attitudes and approaches to Direct Messaging The most frequently cited use of Direct was for transitions in care (which is not surprising given the current meaningful use Stage 2 requirement), followed by “ADT notification,” “patient communication,” and “secure email for other purposes.” Although respondents acknowledged significant challenges around setting up a provider directory and identifying trading partners, more than half (51%) said the cost of using Direct “is worth the benefit of information exchange.”  In fact, 59% of respondents indicated they would still use Direct for health information exchange even if the standard was not required by meaningful use.  The timing of the survey is notable, as CMS recently proposed a change to meaningful use requirements beginning in 2015 that would allow a summary of care document to be transmitted via “any electronic means” rather than only through Direct.

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  It is important to note that in addition to hospitals and physician practices, respondents also included individuals from HIEs, HISPs, and vendors.  It would be interesting to see if attitudes would be different if the survey was limited to only provider organizations – who are the ones actually sending and receiving the messages.  Either way, there are definitely a number of interesting data points in the survey around management of Direct user accounts and provider directories, so it is highly recommended reading – particularly for anyone who has been closely following meaningful use or just HIE trends in general.

According to a new survey from Software Advice, dissatisfaction is the leading reason that physician practices are looking for a new EHR.  Among respondents from practices that are actively considering buying an EHR, 60% are looking to replace their current system while 37% are first time purchasers.  That represents a shift from 2010, when the same study found only 20% of buyers were looking to replace their existing EHR and 63% were buying an EHR for the first time.  The top reason mentioned by physician practices for considering change in 2015 was “cumbersome / faulty” EHR functionality, cited by 24% of respondents.  Note that respondents to this survey were only from physician practices actively looking to purchase an EHR.

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  The fact that dissatisfaction was the top driver cited by practices considering a new EHR is by no means a surprise – but the findings also underscore the ongoing issues in the market (especially in the outpatient arena) around EHR “usability” – and the fact that those frustrations are causing some practices to look for a new vendor.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… IDC predicts that shipments of wearables worldwide will increase 173% this year, from 26.4 million units shipped in 2014 to 72.1 million units expected to be shipped in 2015.   Global shipments of “smart” wearables are expected to grow 683% between 2014 and 2015, while shipments of “basic” wearables are expected to grow 76%.