Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Medical Director White Paper Shows We Have A Little Way To Go With Using E-Health. PCEHR Not All That Favoured.

Medical Director released a white paper on e-Health usage and a range of other matters last week.

The survey was titled: 2015 Survey: Practice pressures and eHealth realities

You can download the white paper from this link:
The summary of the findings - made by the authors - is as follows.


  • 48 per cent of health professionals surveyed are worried government changes could have a negative impact on patient outcomes
  • 38 per cent of respondents said their practices are under pressure to cut costs or increase bookings, while 14 per cent have already seen a drop in bookings
  • 17 per cent of health professionals use an online booking system, while 10 per cent are planning to implement one within a year
  • 28 per cent use an automated reminder system to notify patients of upcoming appointments, and of those, 70 per cent find it reduces the number of no shows or late patients
  • 42 per cent prefer to send records via paper methods - post and fax
  • 44 per cent think sharing records electronically has potential to accelerate the referral process and possibly improve patient care, while another 30 per cent think it will streamline work and reduce administration time
  • 26 per cent think health related phone or tablet apps have the most opportunity to benefit health professionals and patient outcomes, followed by telemedicine at 21 per cent
There are a couple of reports on the paper in the press:
First here:

Health professionals missing the e-Health bandwagon

Despite feeling the pressure to increase bookings and cut costs, many health professionals are missing opportunities presented by e-health technology that would be of benefit to patients a new whitepaper says.
According to the Practice pressures and e-health realities whitepaper, prepared by MedicalDirector, almost 40 per cent of health professionals think speculation over government changes to Medicare has put their practices under pressure to cut costs or increase bookings.
14 per cent had already experienced a drop in bookings.
Only 17 per cent had used an online booking system however, which would make it easier for patients to secure appointments, and less than a third used an automated reminder system to notify patients of upcoming appointments – even though of those who did, 70 per cent found it reduced no shows and late patients.
Lots more here - with a good infographic as well.
Also there is coverage here:

GPs still opting for snail mail

1 May, 2015 Amanda Davey
GPs are slow to embrace e-health technology with many still preferring to send medical records by post and fax, finds a survey of 423 practices.
While more than three-quarters of those surveyed think sharing records electronically has the potential to reduce administration burden and enhance the sharing of patient information, almost half are continuing to use post and fax.
The survey, by clinical and practice management software vendor Medical Director, shows few practices are using online booking systems and just over one-quarter have adopted automated reminder systems to notify patients of upcoming appointments.
Furthermore, despite initial enthusiasm for the government’s Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) System that was launched in 2012, uptake is low, with only 12% of city-based and 9% of regional practices using the system.
Rural and remote doctors are slightly more enthusiastic than the city dwellers, with a 16% take-up rate of PCEHR.
More here:
I loved the GP who said that he occasionally sent a record to the PCEHR but that he had never found anything useful on it - but felt it was a great idea!! In the survey on 17% felt the PCEHR had the largest potential for benefit.
Overall what we see is that the migration to use of electronic communications appears to be lagging use of local electronic records after at least 20 years since the software as first introduced.
Thanks to MD for doing the survey work and pointing out just how many other useful things GPs and Practice Managers see ahead of the PCEHR.

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