Practice owners need more help implementing EHRs

March 10, 2012

Physicians who own their practices have a tougher time integrating technology into their practices, a study finds. Read why.

Implementing electronic health record (EHRs) systems could be more difficult for physicians who own their practices than for those who don't, according to a survey.

The Boston-based not-for-profit system Partners HealthCare surveyed more than 150 Massachusetts physicians about their difficulties with EHR implementation. More than half said implementation was "somewhat difficult," whereas 35% called it "very difficult."

Among physicians without an ownership stake in their practices, roughly one fourth said implementing EHR systems was very difficult, compared with 38% for physicians with full or partial ownership.

"Physician owners probably bear financial risk for failure of implementation out of proportion to payers or publicly funded health plans who (sic) benefit from patient safety and quality but not as directly from practice efficiency or revenue cycle management," the authors write.

The study is available on the Web site of the Journal of the American Informatics Association.