EHR implementation continues to be the most pressing technology challenge for physician practices, according to a new survey of more than 1,400 physicians and practice administrators.

The survey, conducted by Physicians Practice--an online community for doctors--and sponsored by EHR vendor Kareo, finds that EHR adoption and implementation is the primary concern for medical practices nationwide. However, the factors vary for independent versus hospital-owned practices.

While adoption and implementation of EHR is the primary concern for both groups, interoperability and cost are in a near tie for second place for independent physicians. Yet, for hospital-owned practices cost is much less of a worry.

The survey revealed that 64 percent of respondents are in independent practice, while 36 percent are owned by a hospital. A slight majority of independent doctors, 42 percent, said they are in solo practice and 33 percent practice with two to five physicians—which differs significantly when compared to the hospital-employed physicians, where there is a greater spread in practice size.

In the survey, 53 percent of respondents said they have a "fully implemented EHR" and another 17 percent use a system provided by a hospital or corporate parent. At the same time, 20 percent of respondents indicated that they do not currently have an EHR.

Seventy percent of responding practices said that they had a fully implemented EHR (software/ hardware installed, and all providers and staff trained and using the system as needed) within one year of acquisition.

Forty-seven percent of respondents to the survey indicated that implementation of an EHR made their practice work flow more efficient; while 32 percent said they had not benefitted from new work flows.

Results of the survey can be found here.

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