athenahealth and Sermo Partner with a Common Goal: Enabling Physicians to Leverage Technology to Improve Patient Care
athenahealth-Sermo Data Shows Physicians Remarkably Optimistic about Electronic Health Records, with 80% Holding Favorable Views of EHRs;
Despite this 90% Agree EHRs Are Expensive to Purchase and 72% Agree EHRs Still Require Effort to Stay Current with Changing Payment Requirements and Incentives
ATLANTA, GA - March 1, 2010 – athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN), a leading provider of internet-based business services to physician practices, and Sermo, the world’s largest online community for physicians, announced at HIMSS10 a partnership that will help gauge and amplify physicians’ views on issues that are affecting the practice of medicine in the United States. In doing so, athenahealth and Sermo hope to enable physicians to benefit from each other’s collective input and improve the financial health of their practices.
At the annual HIMSS conference today in Atlanta, athenahealth and Sermo are previewing physicians’ sentiment on electronic health records (EHRs)—a hot topic as the U.S. government distributes some $19 billion in stimulus for doctors who “meaningfully use” EHRs. These findings are part of a broader Physician Sentiment Index (PSI) to be released by athenahealth and Sermo later this month that explores physicians’ frustrations and opinions on a host of issues that could compromise quality of care in America, such as government involvement and the increasing challenges of running a medical practice. The PSI EHR data is based on responses from 1,000 randomly selected respondents within the Sermo online community.
Findings show a level of optimism and enthusiasm around EHRs, but also reveal a physician community in need of better solutions than are currently available. The clear majority cite EHRs as expensive to purchase. Data also suggests that time to install, effort and cost to maintain, and improvements to a doctor’s efficiency are not where they need to be in order to truly add meaningful business value and free up physicians to focus on patient care.
· 80% have a favorable or very favorable opinion of EHRs
- 80% feel EHRs improve patient care
- 73% agree the patient benefits of an EHR justify the financial costs
- 90% agree / strongly agree that EHRs are expensive to purchase
- 72% agree / strongly agree that having an EHR still requires effort to stay on top of constantly changing payment requirements / incentives
- 81% agree / strongly agree that EHRs are expensive to maintain and upgrade
- 60% agree / strongly agree with the statement that EHRs distract from face to face interaction with patients
- 54% agree / strongly agree that EHRs slow down the doctor during patient exams
- Only slightly more than 50% believe EHR systems are designed with them in mind
“It is clear from the survey that current EHR solutions are imperfect with cost, resource allocation, and ease of use being areas that could stand great improvement,” said Dr. Daniel Palestrant, CEO of Sermo. “Discussion amongst the Sermo physician community supports the survey’s findings of ‘holes’ in current offerings and more broadly the notion that EHRs have a long way to go towards delivering on the promise of cost savings, freed resources, and better medicine.”
“athenahealth aims to be the physician’s most trusted business partner. Whether getting them paid sooner by insurers or bringing doctors online in meaningful ways, we exist to shift the administrative onus off the doctor so they can concentrate on the practice of medicine,” said Jonathan Bush, athenahealth’s Chairman and CEO. “athenahealth and Sermo are alike in spirit and mission—progressive, Health 2.0 companies with models that leverage the heck out of the Internet to empower doctors. Building on our own physician advocacy work, this partnership provides a distinct, non-association channel for the doctor’s voice to be heard and us an opportunity to learn.”
Over the next several months, athenahealth and Sermo will work to bring additional physician insight to the market, helping this community assert a collective voice on issues critical to the practice of medicine and, ultimately, to identify solutions to address challenges they face.
Sermo is the largest online physician community, where over 116,000 physicians collaborate to improve patient care. Sermo provides access to its community for clients that need fast, actionable insights directly from practicing physicians.
athenahealth, Inc. is a leading provider of Internet-based business services for physician practices. athenahealth’s service offerings are based on proprietary web-native practice management and electronic health record (EHR) software, a continuously updated payer knowledge-base, integrated back-office service operations, and automated and live patient communication services. For more information, please visit www.athenahealth.com or call (888) 652-8200.