TORONTO, May 23, 2013 /CNW/ - The majority of Canadian doctors (76 per cent) reported actively using electronic medical records (EMR) in an annual survey by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) of 3,700 doctors in eight countries: Australia,Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States. And, showcasing the growing importance of health information exchange (HIE), nearly half (44 per cent) of Canadian physicians said they regularly access clinical data about patients outside their own organization, representing a 42 per cent annual increase.
"Despite our fragmented healthcare system, Canadian physicians are increasingly integrating technology, like EMR and HIE into their practice and they understand its value," said Denis Protti, Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria. "This is very encouraging and means Canada is moving in the right direction."
Doctors Increasing Use of Healthcare IT
Doctors in all countries surveyed reported a 15 per cent annual increase in routine use of healthcare IT capabilities since 2011. In the past year, Canadian doctors reported a steady annual increase in their routine use of entering patient notes (22 per cent increase), using clinical decision support (20 per cent increase) and receiving alerts while seeing patients (12 per cent).
"Despite modest EMR growth, Canadian doctors have increased their use of healthcare IT over the past two years," said Sanjay Cherian, Accenture’s health industry lead in Canada. "We believe this positive trend will enable virtual integration outside a single medical office and will further establish the foundation for patient-centered care delivery."
Canadian doctors reported the highest routine use of three IT capabilities: using electronic tools to reduce administrative burden (50 per cent), entering patient notes into EMR (44 per cent) and receiving clinical results that are entered into records (41 per cent).
Doctors "Routine Use" of Healthcare IT Capabilities
|Top Healthcare IT Capabilities
|Enters patient notes into EMR
|Clinical results populate EMR
|Electronic lab orders
|Access to clinical data outside their organization
|Receives electronic alerts while seeing patients
|Source: Accenture eight-country survey of 3,700 doctors, Nov-Dec, 2012
Question: How frequently do you use the following capabilities (above reflects six of 12 capabilities surveyed)
The majority of doctors in all countries reported that EMR and HIE had a positive impact on their practice, such as reducing medical errors (76 per cent) and improving the quality of data for clinical research (74 per cent). The majority of all doctors also reported that costs were the single greatest barrier to technology adoption; yet nearly half of Canadian doctors (44 per cent) reported that using EMR and HIE reduced costs to their organization.
Accenture’s research findings are included in a country report, The Canada Healthcare IT Dilemma and a summary report, The Digital Doctor is In.
Accenture conducted an online survey of 3,700 physicians across eight countries: Australia, Canada, England,France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States. The survey included 500 doctors per country (200 fromSingapore) and assessed the physicians’ adoption, utilization and attitudes towards healthcare IT. The research was conducted between November and December 2012. The analysis provided comparisons by country, sector, age and use. The margin of error for the eight countries in total is +/- 1.5 per cent. The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive .
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