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Shift to value-based care brings new desires for EHR capabilities

News
Article

Physicians describe intentions to change electronic health records in coming months.

ehr electronic health record concept: © Apichat - stock.adobe.com

© Apichat - stock.adobe.com

The transition to value-based care will require changes in the electronic health record (EHR) systems physicians are using.

Meanwhile, documenting clinical quality and sharing data are two needs driving intentions to upgrade technology in health care practices over the next 18 months.

Health care information technology analyst Black Book Market Research LLC published results of its 2024 user surveys that including evaluations of 120 electronic health record vendors and of 18 performance indicators of functionality of practitioner platforms offering EHRs, revenue cycle management (RCM), practice management, telehealth, interoperability, patient engagement, and analytics.

"The transition to value-based care represents a fundamental shift in the industry, and physicians are adapting to new payment models that incentivize the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care," Black Book President Doug Brown said in a news release. "Updated EHR and RCM technologies to meet the evolving demands of this paradigm are leading to positive patient outcomes."

But EHRs are not keeping up: 82% of physicians said their EHR systems do not have technology to prepare their practices to be evaluated based on factors such as patient satisfaction, clinical outcomes, adherence to evidence-based practices, and overall cost-effectiveness, according to Black Book.

A full 85% of physicians confirmed their practice or group needs updated and better technology to collect, analyze and report patient outcomes, costs, and quality of care. A majority of physicians (54%) said their existing systems have been improved to involve patients in care plans. But 83% said the current technologies are inadequate for participating in value-based care plans.

Almost all – 96% – said they want artificial intelligence and machine learning applications to enhance their EHRs as early as this year, and more than 60% said any upcoming EHR acquisitions or replacements will include AI utilities.

Physicians in primary care and aligned specialties offered high ratings for these systems.

  • Family practice: Elation Health
  • General practice: Practice Fusion (Veridigm)
  • Geriatrics: Netsmart/GEHRIMED
  • Internal medicine: athenahealth
  • Obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine: ModMed
  • Pediatrics: athenahealth
  • Rural health centers: Greenway

New software coming

Among medical groups with 10 or more physicians, 41% said they planned to significantly upgrade or replace current practice management software in the next 18 months. They indicated they want features not in the current systems.

“Two of the major drivers behind the technology transformations are in response to healthcare industry developments such as the need to document clinical quality to achieve optimized revenue benefits and the intensified requirements for data sharing to coordinate care to ready organizations for value-based care capitation,” said a news release by Black Book Research.

The survey participants indicated the most common reasons why they are considering replacing the current practice management software vendor.

  • Vendor reputation and quality: 53% of respondents said they had a vendor with a history of frequent system outages, slow updates, or financial instability that made the users lose confidence in the system’s reliability.
  • Poor user experience: 27% of survey participants reported using cumbersome interfaces or lack of user-friendly features.
  • Integration challenges: Inefficient integration among systems such as EHR, laboratory information systems, and billing platforms was driving change for 17% of medical groups and practices. Among physicians in small groups, 72% said they still were seeking seamless interoperability to improve coordination of care, according to Black Book Research.
  • Scalability, cost and growth: 9% of physician groups and clinics reported they are seeking a more scalable system to adapt to growth.

Among specific vendors, NextGen Healthcare earned the best ratings across the practices, which ranged in size from one to five practitioners, to 26 to 99 practitioners, according to Black Book Research. Other top-rated vendors included Touchworks (Altera Digital Health), ModMed, Oracle Health, Athenahealth, Epic Systems, Kareo and Practice Fusion (Veradigm).

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