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American College of Physicians, other organizations release
October 3, 2012 -- Survey results released today reveal that an
overwhelming majority of clinicians believe that the electronic
exchange of health information will have a positive impact on
improving the quality of patient care, coordinating care, meeting
the demands of new care models, and participating in third-party
reporting and incentive programs.
The American College of Physicians (ACP), the Bipartisan Policy
Center, and Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Health Care developed
the survey and analyzed 527 responses in the report Clinician Perspectives on
Electronic Health Information Sharing for Transitions of
"The exchange of patient health information across care settings
is a critical component to the success of the new models to improve
care, such as the patient-centered medical home," said Michael S.
Barr, MD, FACP, MBA, who leads ACP's Medical Practice,
Professionalism & Quality division. "ACP agrees with the 78
percent of survey respondents who believe that exchanging health
information will have a positive effect on clinicians' ability to
meet the demands of these new care models."
Yet challenges remain for the widespread electronic exchange of
health information. More than 70 percent of clinicians surveyed
identified lack of interoperability, lack of an information
exchange infrastructure, and the cost of setting up and maintaining
interfaces and exchanges as major barriers, preventing clinicians
from exchanging information with others.
"The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information
Technology has done a lot to encourage the development of the
technology needed to support the exchange of information across
care settings, but we still have a long way to go," said Dr. Barr.
"These gaps are most apparent when we look at the infrastructure,
or lack thereof, needed to support the exchange of information and
the governance surrounding such exchange."
Additional key findings from the survey include:
Access to medication lists and relevant laboratory and imaging
test results are commonly recognized as high priorities for
transitions of care.
More than half of respondents prefer that information they view
as "essential" get "pushed" to them, with the ability to access the
rest of the information through a query.
Timeliness of information is important. A clear majority of
clinicians consider "within 24 hours" a reasonable timeframe for
the exchange of information when a patient requires follow-up care
or is being treated for an urgent problem.
When updating the electronic health record with information
received from an external source, clinicians prefer to be able to
selectively pick and choose the information they want
"By categorizing clinicians' views on the types of information
they want to receive, how they want to receive it, how quickly they
want to receive it, and what they want to do with it, we can
support efforts to facilitate the exchange of health information,"
Dr. Barr said.
The survey was fielded by AmericanEHR Partners,
founded by ACP and Cientis Technologies to provide comprehensive
information to support clinicians in the selection and use of EHRs;
the American Association of Medical Directors of Information
Systems; the American College of Surgeons; and the American Academy
The clinicians who responded to the survey are predominately
primary care providers who work in practice settings that include
10 physicians or less and who are electronic health record (EHR)
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest
medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician
group in the United States. ACP members include 133,000 internal
medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and
medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention,
detection, and treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on
About AmericanEHR PartnersAmericanEHR Partners is a
free online resource designed to aid the medical community with the
selection, implementation, and effective use of health information
technology and electronic health records. It does not endorse any
electronic health record vendor. AmericanEHR Partners was founded
by the American College of Physicians and Cientis Technologies and
is supported by 16 medical societies and five health IT
organizations with a combined membership of more than 700,000
clinicians, representing over 65 percent of physicians in the U.S.
For more information on AmericanEHR Partners, visit www.americanehr.com.
About the Bipartisan Policy Center
Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom
Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, the Bipartisan Policy Center
(BPC) is a non-profit organization that drives principled solutions
through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation and respectful
dialogue. With projects in multiple issue areas, BPC combines
politically balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy
About Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Health
Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Health Care is a non-profit,
collaborative effort led primarily by doctors -- for doctors -- to
support the transformation of health care, initially through health
information technology, given the foundational role it plays in
improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of care.