Opportunities and Challenges Remain When Implementing Electronic Medical Records

California HealthCare Foundation releases three reports on EMRs

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) today released three publications covering electronic medical records (EMRs) including a report on how small physician groups are using EMRs; a buyer’s guide on leading EMR applications; and an overview of the use and adoption of computer-based patient records (CPRs).

According to Thomas Lee, M.D., CHCF senior program officer, “Every year, thousands of medical errors occur because of incomplete access to a patient’s medical record. The use of EMRs has the potential not only to reduce the number of medical errors but also to improve the quality and efficiency of care.” CHCF commissioned the reports to better understand how physicians currently use EMRs, what products currently exist, and what factors may hinder or promote the adoption of EMRs.

The new reports include:

  • Electronic Medical Records: Lessons From Small Physician Practices, by Robert Miller, Ph.D., Jeff Newman, M.D., M.P.H., and Ida Sim, M.D., Ph.D., provides solo/small group physicians with practical information on EMR implementation and use. The report found nearly 70 percent of active, practicing physicians in California work in solo/small groups of ten physicians or fewer. Estimates of actual EMR use rates are below 13 percent. However, interest in implementing EMRs is substantially higher, ranging from 31 percent to 65 percent, nationwide. While this report focuses on physicians; clinical support staff who also use EMR capabilities will find the report of interest.
  • Electronic Medical Records: A Buyer’s Guide for Small Physician Practices, by Michael J. Barrett, with Bradford J. Holmes and Sara E. McAulay, Forrester Research, offers a detailed analysis of the products available for medical group practices from eight leading vendors of EMRs. The systems were evaluated by assessing the strength of each vendor’s current offering, the company’s strategy for future developments, and presence in the marketplace. The report also offers a free, downloadable, interactive tool that lets buyers view scorecards for each product. Using the tool, physicians can enter their own unique practice circumstances to help them select an appropriate EMR application.
  • The white paper, Use and Adoption of Computer-based Patient Records, by David J. Brailer, M.D., Ph.D., Health Technology Center, and Emi L. Terasawa, A.B., CareScience, offers a detailed overview of computer-based patient records (CPRs). Included are CPR adoption rates for inpatient and physician offices, factors influencing adoption, use and adoption of standards, and a discussion section on the likely growth in adoption of CPRs.

Contact Information:

About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.