In 2008, OntarioMD and eHealth Ontario commissioned an independent evaluation of physicians who were participating in the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Adoption Program. Recently released 2010 results for the ongoing survey showed that the majority of physicians that completed the survey reported that EMRs enable them to improve patient care outcomes.
In general, physicians reported that EMRs allowed them to operate more efficient practices. The survey revealed that between 2008 and 2010, about seven in 10 physicians felt that EMRs helped improve the continuity of care and the level of safety that was provided to their patients. Nine in 10 physicians reported using EMRs for regular writing and renewing of prescriptions. Other key findings include: 90 percent of surveyed physicians are regularly receiving and managing lab results electronically; 79 percent of physicians reported improved or maintained productivity; and 73 percent of participants felt their record keeping had become primarily paperless.
Meaningful use of EMRs is set out in the provincial EMR Funding Program Terms and Conditions, and make up two broad categories: practice management (scheduling and billing) and clinical support (i.e. encounter notes, prescriptions, automated reminders, lab results, etc.).
See the OntarioMD press release “Improved Patient Outcomes through Meaningful Use of EMRs by Ontario Physicians,” November 17, 2010, available at www.ontariomd.ca. For more information about Ontario’s EMR Adoption Program, visit www.ontariomd.ca.