Discussion About EMR Study by Accenture

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One of the first people I talked with when I arrived at HIMSS was a meeting with Dr. Greg Parston from Accenture. Dr. Parston has an interesting job at Accenture since it seems like he gets paid to just study interesting topics. Not a bad gig.

Well, it turns out that Accenture and Dr. Parston had been working on a few studies related to EMR (imagine that). So, we had a really interesting discussion about the findings of their survey and Dr. Parston even made some predictions about the future of the EMR market. The following are some of the takeaways I thought were interesting from our discussion:

First some details about the survey. It was a survey of 1000 doctors done in December of 2009 from all over the country. They showed a 15% percent adoption rate for EMR, or basically in line with most of the other projections of EMR adoption.

The study then took a look at the next 24 months and these doctors plans for that time period. They found that 60% intend to purchase an EMR system in the next 24 months. However, if you look at just those doctors that were under 55, the number intending to purchase an EMR is 80 percent.

A few other interesting things about their motivations and size. They found that the stimulus money was the number 1 factor for wanting to implement an EMR. I guess this isn’t surprising, but it’s unfortunate. Sure seems like a hard thing to reconcile when I think that most doctors want to use technology to become more efficient. Yet, there number one motivation (EMR Stimulus money) does nothing to improve productivity. An EMR might increase your productivity, but “meaningful use” and “certified EHR” don’t help with that.

Dr. Parston also mentioned that doctors want to control their data. Imagine that! Sorry hospitals and SaaS EMR (except for those SaaS EMR that give doctors their data, I’m not talking to you).

The most interesting part of our conversation was that Dr. Parston projected that there would be 70 percent EHR adoption in 3 years. I posted that to twitter right after he said it to a mixed response with more people saying that won’t happen. What do you think about this? That’s a pretty lofty projection if you ask me. I’ll be surprised if we top 50% EHR adoption in 3 years.

Finally, Dr. Parston also mentioned that in one of his EMR studies they found that 70 of Americans said it was very important or important for a doctor to have EMR. This number kind of bothers me, because I just don’t see this same patient demand for doctors to use an EMR. You may remember that I’ve written a few times about EMR adoption waiting for consumer demand for EMR. So, I think this will happen at some point. I just don’t think we’re there yet.