Study: Doctors Say Health IT Will Improve Care, Increase Costs

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Although a majority of doctors said they believe health IT will improve long-term care quality, most said they think health IT will increase costs, according to a Deloitte Center for Health Solutions study, FierceHealthIT reports.

Study Findings

The study found that 73% of physicians said they believe health IT will improve health care quality in the long term. Less-tenured physicians were more optimistic about health IT's potential to boost care quality, with 81% of physicians who have practiced for 10 or fewer years saying they believe health IT would improve quality in the long term.

The survey also found that 80% of doctors in practices with at least 10 physicians said they think health IT will improve care quality, compared with 73% of doctors in smaller practices.

However, 71% of physicians said they believe that health IT will increase care costs.

Solo practitioners were more skeptical about health IT's ability to cut costs, with 81% saying they believe it will increase costs (Bird, FierceHealthIT, 9/18).

rebecca wiedmeyer
Having consulted in the EHR world for nearly a decade, this study represents exactly what I have heard from physicians in the field. When I began in the field, physicians were moving from paper to the EHR and the majority were not happy about this (putting it mildly.) However, I have witnessed the shift towards a much more open attitude regarding this technology, to the point that many physicians are savvy enough to request a "rip and replace" initiative of antiquated or non-specialized systems. (I always refer my physician clients to sites like <a href="http://www.ehrscope.com" title="EHR Scope">{www.ehrscope}<a> ).As physicians grow more knowledgeable, we should anticipate that the demand on vendors to accommodate will increase; we should also anticipate that improved systems should drive costs down as such. -- Rebecca Wiedmeyer, CEO of Vela Consulting Group, LLC
Tim Perry
The cloud may be one way to lower costs and improve performance but the HIPAA Final Rule treats data storage (and Business Associates who store data) differently now, "For example, a data storage company that has access to protected health information (whether digital or hard copy) qualifies as a business associate, even if the entity does not view the information or only does so on a random or infrequent basis." HealthCare Too offers these three simple questions to help Covered Entities and Business Associates determine if they need HIPAA Cloud Hosting: 1) Does the organization have a Business Associate Agreement with the hosting provider? 2) Has the hosting provider implemented appropriate safeguards to comply with HIPAA? 3) Can the organization retrieve all backups, audit logs, and other system administration material for the account from the hosting provider? Tim Perry CIO, HealthCare Too www.healthcaretoo.com

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