Despite a federal mandate to adopt electronic health records systems, many physicians remain woefully behind in how they receive patient data, researchers find in a February study titled The Role of Health Information Technology in Care Coordination in the U.S.
Over half of physicians regularly get patient information -necessary to coordinate patient care- from sources other than EHRs, the study concluded.
Researchers examined three sources of patient health information necessary for proper care coordination: 1) Patient history and reason for referral to outside provider; 2) Consultation with an outside provider; 3) Hospital discharge information.
The study found that more than half (54%) of physicians who regularly received information regarding care coordination did not receive that information electronically. While 64% of physicians surveyed said they routinely receive the results of a patient’s consultation with a provider outside of their practice, they were often just as likely to receive the patient information through non-electronic means as they were a an electronic health IT system.
Researchers found that providers using EHRs were slightly more likely to receive these records in a timely manner and to use the information in a way beneficial to the patient than physicians who relied on fax, telephone, or photocopies as sources of patient information.
To read the full study, please click here.