Managing Paper Patient Records In a Clinical Practice
For nearly ten years, implementation of electronic health records (EHR) in ambulatory medical practices across the U.S. has been encouraged through legislation. Government initiatives that were designed to urge greater use of EHR systems in clinical practices sought to gain improvements in safety, efficiency and cost thought to result from the successful implementation of EHR. However, as recently as 2009, a National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) showed that only 6.3% of physician practices had a fully capable EHR (defined as an electronic record system with order entry, e-prescribing, documentation and clinical decision support) and 20.5% having a basic system.
Nuance Communications commissioned a two-part study to better understand the implications of the slower than expected uptake in EHR on the clinical operations of outpatient healthcare providers. The study shows that health care providers continue to rely heavily on paper documents as a common medium for exchange between providers in the patient care continuum. This white paper explains the study and reviews the results.