Technology Adoption and Utilization in Healthcare

Technology adoption and utilization remains one of the primary challenges facing practicing physicians according to The Physicians Foundation, a non-profit seeking to advance the work of practicing physicians and help facilitate the delivery of healthcare to patients. In their 2014 watch list The Physicians Foundation has listed five critical challenges facing practicing physicians.

  • Practice and Insurance Consolidation
  • Regulatory Burden
  • Insurance Confusion
  • HIT Shortfalls
  • National Healthcare System Management Problems

“While the promise of a better future for healthcare remains, the current path is leading us towards a more monopolistic, bureaucratic and costly healthcare system,” said Lou Goodman, Ph.D., president of The Physicians Foundation and chief executive officer of the Texas Medical Association.  “It is critical for policymakers to more regularly seek the counsel of physicians as they begin to implement health reform, since they are the true voice in determining the future of patient care.”[1]

1. Consolidation – Hospitals as well as healthcare practices continue to consolidate. At the same time, insurance companies are also consolidating. Both trends make it more and more difficult for small practices to survive. Many smaller practices feel the pressure of regional monopolies who control the market. These emerging monopolies are fundamentally changing the healthcare landscape.

2. Regulations – The ever-increasing regulations and ICD-10 code sets are eroding physicians’ time. The Foundation’s 2012 Biennial Physician Survey found that physicians are currently spending 22 percent of their time on non-clinical paperwork.

3. Insurance – The release of the recent healthcare insurance exchange with little or no training for consumers, physicians and employers has created a milieu of confusion that impacts the ability of physicians to deliver services.

4. HIT Shortfalls – Updating infrastructure and adoption EHR systems is critical for medical practices, yet many face the struggle with understanding both the technology and the legal aspects. At the same time, many technologies have not solved the problem of communicating between operating systems. Technology adoption is a priority, but physicians need the tools and resources to help them understand EHR adoption and how it will impact their practice.

5. Healthcare Policy Management – Many physicians are expressing concern about the confusion of healthcare policy in our government exhibited in the problems with the ACA rollout as well as the never-ending budget crisis. The federal and state governments must address the confusion in the industry with clarity or risk further eroding trust among physicians.

While our focus is on technology, the team at Integracon tracks the healthcare industry developments in order to best serve our extensive healthcare clientele. Our team of engineers can help physicians and practice managers with the complex challenges of technology adoption and infrastructure upgrades. We can help position your practice to meet the challenges of EHR adoption and implementation. For more information, please call us at 865-330-2323 or chat via Integracon.com.

[1] The Physicians Foundation Releases 2014 Watch List. The Physicians Foundation, December 10, 2013 <http://www.physiciansfoundation.org/news/the-physicians-foundation-releases-2014-watch-list/>

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