Impact Insights

Week in Review 8/7/15

EHR FRUSTRATIONS AT COMMUNITY HOSPITALS… Close to 20% of community hospitals are “actively looking to replace their EHR vendor,” according to a new report from Peer60.  The biggest EHR challenges mentioned by the 277 providers at community hospitals were “usability” (cited by 54%) and “missing functionality” (53%).  Among respondents, the overall leader in terms of market share was Meditech (28%), followed by McKesson Paragon, Cerner, and Healthland Centriq (all at 12%).  The leader in terms of “mind share” though (i.e. the vendor that providers thought could best meet their needs) was Epic (mentioned by 43% of respondents), followed by Cerner (33%) and Meditech (27%).

Impact Advisors’ ThoughtsRespondents to this survey were providers, not IT executives – so the frustration about usability and lack of functionality is particularly notable since it comes from actual end users.

PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS REACT TO RECENT HEALTHCARE TRENDS… According to a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund and the Kaiser Family Foundation, half of PCPs believe that increased use of healthcare IT has had a positive impact on the quality of care, while 28% said HIT use has had a negative impact.  Reactions were far more mixed on new payment models though.  For example, the authors report that PCPs were “more likely to view the increased prevalence of ACOs as having a negative (26%) rather than positive (14%) impact on quality of care.”  Remarkably, almost half of physicians surveyed said recent trends in healthcare are causing them to consider retiring early.

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts There is a lot of great data in here about PCPs’ views on a number of different topics, so it is definitely recommended reading.  We had two initial takeaways:

  • Although the authors note that primary care physicians are “generally positive” about the effect of HIT, there were still 28% of PCPs who said increased HIT use has had a negative impact on the quality of care.  That strikes us as an alarmingly high number, and it definitely underscores that there is still a significant amount of frustration with EHRs in the ambulatory setting.
  • The somewhat negative views of ACOs is not entirely surprising given that being successful under that type of model can require cultural and process changes – especially for PCPs.  It is worth noting though that PCPs participating in an ACO viewed them more favorably than non-participants.

YELP ADDS MORE HEALTHCARE INFORMATION… The online review site has partnered with nonprofit ProPublica to provide consumers with data on 4,600 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes, and 6,300 dialysis clinics, according to the Washington Post.  Yelp users will now have access to information such as ED wait times, hospital noise levels, nursing home fines, and hospital readmission rates for dialysis clinic patients.  The information will be based on data collected by ProPublica as well as statistics already available from CMS.

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts On the surface, it may not seem natural to research nursing homes on the same site you use to find restaurants, but we think there is some merit in trying to engage patients using tools they already know and use from other industries (like this recent example with Uber).  That being said, providing patients with better access to quality information is only part of the solution.  It is just as important to provide context, especially for any complicated or nuanced metrics.