eDoctor, Inc. President Reacts to New Federally Funded Study on Effects of EHR

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New federally funded study posits that installing a complete electronic health record system in a group physician practice will cost, on average, $46,000 in the first year for each doctor, as well as eat up 134 hours of valuable time. eDoctor, Inc. president Se Kang reacts to the study and suggests that starting out with ePrescribing only is cost-effective and takes virtually zero staff time.

eDoctor, Inc., a leading health IT company in Rockville, MD, today reacted to “The Financial and Nonfinancial Costs of Implementing Electronic Health Records in Primary Care Practices,” a just-released, federally funded study by a team of Texas researchers that is summarized in the March 2011 issue of the policy journal Health Affairs.

“When members of a primary-care group practice read that planning, buying, implementing and operating an electronic health record (EHR) system will cost them each more than $46,000 in the first year, I don’t blame them for wanting to throw up their hands and yell ‘give me another file folder’,” said Se Kang, president, eDoctor, Inc. “That’s why we encourage physicians and their medical office administrators to take a different approach, a one-step-at-a-time method that starts with e-prescribing now and lays the groundwork for a cogent and rational EHR solution later.”

The study referred to by Mr. Kang was led by Neil Fleming, vice president for health care research at Baylor Health Care System (BHCS) who, along with his fellow researchers examined the cost of items such as one-time infrastructure investment, installation of equipment, software licensing fees and maintenance support. Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the study examined EHR installations in 26 family and internal medicine practices that are part of the Health Texas Provider Network, affiliated with BHCS.

Added Mr. Kang: “Not only did the study demonstrate that installing EHR is a costly out-of-pocket expense, it showed that such a move requires a significant time investment. This is not just on the front end, in terms of the considerable effort needed for installation of the system itself, but also on the back end for physicians – as well as clinical and non-clinical staff – as they ready themselves for system use. As hard as it may be to believe, this peer-reviewed study showed a need for doctors to spend an average of 134 hours preparing to use EHR in clinical encounters.”

In contrast, eDoctor, Inc.’s e-prescribing software lives on a cloud-based platform with nothing to install in the client machine. After about 20 minutes of training from eDoctor, Inc. live agents, account holders at a participating physician’s office simply log in and start using the system immediately. Much narrower in scope than a complete EHR solution, e-prescribing at a fairly low rate can nonetheless help a medical practice with Medicaid patients to meet federal government thresholds for incentive payments in 2011 and 2012, and to avoid penalties for non-performance of e-prescribing in 2012 and beyond.

If and when a physician’s practice decides to go to a complete EHR solution, eDoctor, Inc.’s e-prescribing software is compatible with any type of a system that a practice may select.

For a complete description of eDoctor, Inc’s e-prescribing benefits, please visit http://www.eDoctorinc.com.

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Jim Boyle
eDoctor Inc.
571-213-3979
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