Costs, operations top primary care concerns, survey says

April 25, 2012

Running an efficient practice with increasingly complex patients are primary care physicians? chief concerns, according to a survey. Find out whether you share these common worries.

Managing costs and improving efficiency and patient care were the top concerns of primary care physicians and other providers, according to a survey from a medical device manufacturer.

Midmark Corp. hired an outside firm to survey 300 physicians, providers, and hospital administrators regarding the future of primary care in their organizations. April 19, the company released an executive summary highlighting the main concerns for the respondents. They are:

Standardizing operations. Close to six in 10 physicians believe that standardizing evidence-based processes is the most difficult challenge facing the industry. Regardless, 62% of doctors anticipate standardization in their organizations within the next 3 years. 

Accommodating patient populations. Two in three physicians report that either people with chronic conditions or the elderly are most difficult patient populations to accommodate.

Managing costs. Nearly three in five physicians believe that the healthcare industry most needs to lower the cost of care, an action even more crucial than making services more accessible (23%) or ensuring better outcomes (16%).

Implementing new technologies. Despite concerns for cost of care, improving patient outcomes in the primary care setting is a leading driver for adopting new technologies. More than half (54%) of the administrators surveyed said that medical equipment upgrades in their organizations have been driven mostly by improved patient outcomes, rather than financial concerns. Sixty-three percent of physicians say that increased implementation of electronic health record systems is the most important enhancement for exam rooms in improving outcomes, according to results.

“In recent years, an increasingly complex patient population, coupled with a wide array of technologic advancements and changing legislation, has forced a number of major changes for those working in primary care,” said Jon Wells, director of marketing at Midmark, in a statement. “This is bound to be difficult for an industry that must consider so many regulations and details for each decision.”

Midmark plans to release the full survey results later this year.

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