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Attention Healthcare Pros: Be Aware of These Trends Impacting EMRs

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The $26.5 billion electronic medical records market has been undergoing fundamental changes in recent months, which healthcare professionals who work with EMRs need to keep on their radar screen. Issues related to usability and interoperability have risen to the surface, and policy, industry and medical practice trends may result in a new EMR landscape going forward.

These changes include:

Government Incentives

The EMR market has matured rapidly, due to the influence of government incentives.

  • In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was designed for providers to take advantage of federal incentives to improve quality of care, patient safety and future practices. Some slowing in growth occurred in the aftermath of ARRA, but overall advancement continues – due in part to threats of noncompliance penalties in the form of reduced payments from Medicare and other government agencies.
  • Changes continue at the Cabinet level.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar II was sworn in on January 29. Unlike his predecessor, he is not a physician. There is no specific indication as yet regarding what changes, if any, will be made to EMR policy as a result.

Fluctuations in Physician Usage

Some physicians have become frustrated with EMRs, claiming that they don’t fit their clinical practices and may interrupt the seamless nature of doctor/patient relations.

  • A possible contributing factor is a large number of competing EMR vendors in the marketplace. While a number of companies, such as Epic and Allscripts, are in the lead, no single vendor has captured even 20 percent of the total market.
  • Hospitals continue to upgrade and switch vendors to improve EMRs as they relate to clinical workflow. This may boost the overall market, but it will also make things riskier for vendors – and less stable in the eyes of providers.

Cyber Threats

Ransomware attacks and cyber breaches are in the news on a regular basis. Although they have not been specifically about EMRs, each cyberattack presents a scary reality in the minds of healthcare businesses that use or are considering using them.

IT Staff Shortages

Companies and facilities using EMRs need people who are qualified to run and maintain them – and hiring top IT talent is not as prevalent within many healthcare organizations as it is in other industries.

What does the future of EMRs look like? Despite fluctuations that seem to occur constantly, you need to stay abreast of the EMR industry and how to adequately staff for it. The experts at MedicalPros Recruiting & Staffing can help answer your questions and steer you in the right direction. Contact us today to learn more.

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