Practice Fusion's 2013 State of the Small Practice survey reveals continued satisfaction for doctors using EMR technology but increased confusion around government incentives
Despite confusion, Meaningful Use incentives were reported by the small practice medical professionals surveyed as the strongest motivation for adopting EMR technology, followed by a desire to use technology to improve patient care. 45 percent of doctors reported that their practice was doing better this year than last, possibly reflecting an improving economy and the influence of EMR incentives. While the majority of remaining doctors reported no change, 15.8 percent reported that their practice is doing worse-a 1.8 percent increase from 2012.
- Doctors reported more confusion about Meaningful Use this year, with 46.4 percent of doctors claiming "moderate expertise" in 2013 (a 16.3 percent drop from 2012) and 49.9 percent (a 6.5 percent increase from last year) claiming "little" or "no" understanding.
- New technology such as EMR systems continued to make medical practice easier for 62.9 percent of doctors, a steady increase from 2012 (61.4 percent) and 2011 (59 percent).
- The number of doctors reporting their practice is doing better this year remained at 45.1 percent, unchanged from last year's study, with 15.8 percent reporting that their practice is doing worse (a 1.8 percent increase from 2012).
- Meeting Meaningful Use deadlines was the main motivation for EMR adoption (54.9 percent), followed by improving care through new technologies (45.3 percent) and excitement around adopting a new technology (39.1 percent).
- Most computers used today in doctors' offices are 1-2 years old (41 percent), but some practices continue to hold on to older machines-4.4 percent of doctors' computers are 6 years or older, compared to 3.4 percent in 2012.
- Among doctors' chief complaints, insurance and reimbursement were ranked highest, followed by practice management costs and administrative burdens.
"Small medical practices are critical as the first line of care," said Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion. "As these practices struggle for survival in a turbulent time, we see it as Practice Fusion's duty to do everything we can to empower them to adopt and utilize new, lifesaving technologies. With an estimated $100 million paid to our doctors so far, it's clear we're on the right track."
The 2013 and 2012 State of the Small Practice studies were conducted by Practice Fusion via an internet survey with a national sample of more than 1,000 practices gathered through the company's platform. Medical providers were asked to provide responses to a series of multiple choice survey questions based on the previous year's data. The 2011 study was conducted on the MDLinx platform using a national sample of 100 small practice physicians using a series of open-ended questions. Highlights of the results of the 2011 and 2012 State of the Small Practice surveys are available on Practice Fusion's website here and here.
Raw data from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 surveys is available to journalists upon request. For more information, or to be connected with a physician source ready to talk about experiences with technology, please contact Margaret Farrell at[email protected].
About Practice Fusion
Practice Fusion provides a free, web-based EMR system to physicians. With medical charting, scheduling, e-prescribing (eRx), lab integrations, referral letters,Meaningful Use certification, unlimited support and a Personal Health Record for patients, Practice Fusion's EMR software addresses the complex needs of today's healthcare providers and disrupts the health IT status quo. Practice Fusion is the fastest growing electronic medical record community in the country with more than 150,000 users serving 52 million patients. The company closed a $34 million Series C financing led by Artis Ventures in June. For more information about Practice Fusion, please visit www.practicefusion.com
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