2007 National Physician Survey: 9.8% of Physicians use full EMRs Instead of Paper Charts

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The Canadian 2007 National Physician Survey is now available. 26.1% of physicians use a combination of Electronic and Paper charts as their record keeping system. 9.8% of physicians use Electronic Charts instead of Paper Charts. This number indicates that we still have a long way to go in order to fully enable our physician population in terms of the electronic record systems and the tools that they require.

A January 9, 2008 press release stated:

Survey results confirm that timely access to health care remains a serious challenge for Canadians. “Despite government investments to achieve reduced wait times in priority areas such as cancer treatment, heart procedures, diagnostic imaging, joint replacements, and sight restoration, the survey reveals that progress has been quite uneven.� says Dr. Louise Samson, President of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. “Physicians also reported that access in other key areas such as emergency services and hospital in-patient care on an urgent basis is poor. Ratings for these services have worsened since 2004 when the NPS was first conducted.�

NPS 2007 indicates that 75% of physicians are generally satisfied with their professional lives yet remain frustrated by barriers to their providing patient care, such as system funding, availability of personnel, paperwork and bureaucracy. Increasing complexity of patient caseloads (80%); management of patients with chronic diseases/conditions (73%); increasing patient expectations (70%); and the aging population (69% among all physicians, 80% among family physicians) were cited as key factors increasing the demand for physicians’ time.

“Despite the challenges in health care revealed by the survey results, over 80 per cent (84%) of physicians confirmed they are either somewhat or very satisfied with their relationships with patients,� states Dr. Ruth Wilson, President of The College of Family Physicians of Canada. “More physicians are working collaboratively in formal and informal practice arrangements and using technology effectively in an effort to improve the care of their patients.� Ninety-three per cent of physicians who are involved in inter-professional care state that these working relationships improve the care their patients receive. Similarly, more doctors (26%) are now using electronic records to enter and retrieve clinical patient notes. Seventeen per cent maintain practice websites and many are taking advantage of electronic communications to more effectively consult with and about their patients.
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