Healthcare IT positively impacting small physician practice confidence

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According to the results of a recent survey conducted by medical informatics vendor PracticeFusion, 60 percent of small and medium-sized physician practices are more confident in their operations due to the implementation of healthcare IT, reports Healthcare IT News.

In addition to the 60 percent of respondents who claimed that their daily operations had been made easier by the adoption of healthcare IT, almost half of survey participants indicated that business had improved since last year as a result of implementing healthcare IT such as medical informatics systems.

However, the clinical informatics vendor’s second State of the Small Practice report indicated that initial investment, administrative costs and complicated reimbursement issues remained substantial barriers for many practices in terms of adopting medical informatics systems and other healthcare IT upgrades.

“We are witnessing a transformation in American medicine,” Ryan Howard, chief executive officer of PracticeFusion, told the news source. “On the one hand, small practice doctors are struggling with rising costs and lower reimbursement rates. On the other hand, technologies such as Practice Fusion’s free [medical informatics] system are helping thousands of medical practices across the country to increase efficiency, eliminate paper charts, qualify for federal [clinical informatics] incentives and provide top quality care to their communities.”

Despite the difficulties in implementing medical informatics systems, many experts predict that adoption of healthcare IT will continue to increase in the coming years. According to a report published by research firm IDC Health Insights, the percentage of medical practices using clinical informatics systems in the U.S. will exceed 80 percent by 2016, reports CMIO.

The report suggests that as adoption of medical informatics systems continues to increase, software vendors will have to ensure that their customer support services are able to meet the needs of customers, and that the functionality of their products is able to adapt to a variety of clinical environments.