More practices using electronic record systems

October 23, 2006

A significant increase in ophthalmologists implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system is expected in the next 2 years, according to a March 2006 survey of American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) members.

A significant increase in ophthalmologists implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system is expected in the next 2 years, according to a March 2006 survey of American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) members.

Based on e-mail surveys and telephone interviews of 592 members from across the country, nearly 50% said that they have or are planning EHR implementation within the next 2 years. The intent to implement in groups with multiple subspecialists (including those in multiple medical specialties) is even higher at 71%.

"While not everyone's practice setting will need the implementation of an EHR now, this is an opportune time to weigh the costs and benefits and to decide if it is beneficial to you. The academy is developing resources to help ophthalmologists to learn about and make rational decisions about EHR systems, starting with disseminating these survey results," explained H. Dunbar Hoskins, MD, executive vice president of the AAO.

According to the survey, the selection of an EHR system is complex and time-consuming. The right EHR system will depend upon each practice's unique situation, needs, workflow, relationship with other entities, and other factors.

At the 2006 AAO/APAO Joint Meeting in Las Vegas, there will be several programs to help members better understand EHR systems.