As both Canada and the US move to aggressively to promote use and adoption of IT by family physicians in their offices, the most recent survey results from KLAS offers some cause for concern:
KLAS surveys end users to determine what they like and don’t like about IT systems that they have purchased. These surveys offer unique insights as they are based on actual use of healthcare IT systems in real world settings. According to Modern Healthcare article, the latest KLAS survey “shows a deterioration of customer-satisfaction scores across the board compared with the survey from the prior year“. Of potential concern to government sponsored funding programs are the results for ambulatory EHRs (referred to as EMRs in Canada). This category had the lowest average satisfaction score of the 24 software categories covered by the KLAS survey.
KLAS President, Adam Gale, offers several explanations:
- “That could mean that vendors are selling more and unable to fully staff the uptake.”
- “The more enthusiastic and tolerant earlier adopters have already acquired and are already using EHRs. Users new to the technology are adopting now.”
Both explanations are distressing, though the suggestion that mainstream physicians may not be happy with existing EMR products could seriously impact the aggressive targets for EMR use and adoption set by various EMR funding programs.
Is EMR software ready for those physicians who are not early adopters of technology? As Dr. Alan Brookstone notes on his blog:
there are other signs in the US that physicians do not feel that EMR software offers sufficient value to warrant the necessary investments. I think that we must heed these early warning signs and take a closer look at how best to integrate IT into the clinical practice of family physicians so that our current round of funding is not seen as “wasted” in a future auditors report.