Study: EHR Could Significantly Impact Physician Services

A new study published in the November issue of Health Affairs found that EHR and e-health use could significantly impact the amount and type of physician services in the future.  Researchers say that the U.S. healthcare system has reached a “digital tipping point” due to factors such as almost 72 percent of (office-based) physicians having an EHR and 17 percent of patients using e-health tools.

According to the researchers, demand for physicians would decrease by 9 percent if 30 percent of community-based physicians implemented health IT in their practices.  In addition, more care would be in the hands of generalists than specialists, lessening the demand for specialists. Also, more care would be given by non-physicians, reducing demand for physicians by about 7 percent.  In general, increased efficiencies brought forth by EHR would help doctors meet the demand of the patient load.  

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