Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This Is Really A Pretty Important Survey Of GPs. Sad It Has Been Kept Secret Until Now.

The following appeared a few days ago.

Government report backs PCEHR incentives

17 August, 2012 Michael Woodhead
A government report on GPs’ readiness to adopt the PCEHR has backed the profession’s concerns about an increased workload and the need for reimbursement to cover the time spent preparing and explaining the new records.
The results of a 2011 survey of more than 800 GPs show that while most are broadly supportive of the PCEHR concept, there are uncertainties about the details and concerns about the quality and workability of the system
One of the main concerns was with the time required to implement the new system, with  73% of GPs believing  it will take at least 15 mins to explain the PCEHR to patients and 52% believe it will take at least 15 minutes to set one up.
The report therefore concludes that “reimbursement for the time taken to use the new national system is a relevant strategy ... to encourage adoption.”
The report found that only a third of GPs thought that e-health applications easy to use and a third were not early adopters but preferred to wait for systems to be proven before adopting.
It seems clear from the 90 page report that the attitudes to the planned NEHRS as mixed with the level of concern being a little stronger among older GPs and actual practice owners.
Note: This report was developed late last year as part of the work undertaken by National Change And Adoption Program for the NEHRS / PCEHR. This program was led by McKinsey.
My reading of the survey suggests - as I have often said previously - is a drop in efficiency that leads to care being slowed down and the associated cost in terms of earning capacity.
It was interesting to read that GPs were not convinced that anything much had been done to reduce ‘red tape’ and that there was a fear the NEHRS would add more to already time-poor clinicans.
The need for payment to compensate for time spent seems pretty clear if adoption is to happen. I certainly doubt the stick will work very well. A real carrot is needed.
It is also interesting that many were concerned about the quality and completeness of information and issues around technical operations of the system.
This paragraph in the report was pointed out to me by a correspondent and seems to somehow devalue the work done by carefully choosing what was researched. Certainly avoided all the tricky bits!
“Note, however, that basic infrastructural readiness was assessed in terms of having access to a computer and an internet connection. GPs generally do not as yet have in place applications that help them share information between providers and/or consumers, of the required foundational components for the national eHealth record system, e.g. NASH (National Authentication Service for Health), SMD (Secure Message Delivery), and HPI-Os (healthcare Provider Identifier for Organisations). This survey did not specifically address these specific foundational elements, nor issues such as the quality of data that exists within existing eHealth applications.”
Go here to download the report. It is still well worth a read.

Late news: I note today we now seem to have payments to GPs well and truly back on the agenda with some announcements from the Health Minister. Seems they have caved and recognised the PCEHR is a time imposition. Smart are they not?