News Feature | August 26, 2015

PCPs Weigh In On HIT

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

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A report from the Commonwealth Fund and Kaiser Family Foundation finds primary care physicians believe health IT has a positive effect on patient outcomes.

Health IT is a positive addition to healthcare, according to the majority of primary care physicians surveyed by the Commonwealth Fund and Kaiser Family Foundation.

“With regard to HIT, our study indicates that primary care providers generally accept the promise of HIT to improve quality of care even if previous research shows they dislike the process of transitioning from paper-based records,” wrote researchers.

According to Fierce Health IT, 64 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants said health IT has positively affected providers' ability to deliver quality care and 50 percent of PCPs agreed.

“Our survey results also may reflect clinicians’ earlier exposure to certain models and tools. National adoption of electronic health records received a boost from the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of the federal stimulus package of 2009, while the four primary care specialty societies announced a joint statement regarding medical homes in February 2007, several years before passage of the Affordable Care Act,” explained researchers.

iHealth Beat reports that the survey also found:

  • 28 percent of PCPs and 20 percent of other clinicians said health IT had a negative effect on the delivery of quality care
  • 10 percent of PCPs and 8 percent of other clinicians said health IT had no effect on the delivery of quality care; and
  • 11 percent of PCPs and 7 percent of other clinicians said they were unsure

“As primary care transformation efforts mature and spread, it will remain important to judge their effects on patients in terms of access, quality, and costs of care. However, it is also important to assess their effect on primary care clinicians,” they concluded.