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Physicians Say Data Analytics Tools Are Key for Value-based Care

More than two-thirds of 300 physicians surveyed said that advanced data analytics tools are important for treating patients and being compensated for care under value-based care arrangements.

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Source: Getty Images

By Fred Donovan

- More than two-thirds (68%) of 300 physicians surveyed said that advanced data analytics tools are important for treating patients and being compensated for care under value-based care arrangements.

Respondents said that data and analytics tools are most helpful in gathering data and assessing patient needs but least helpful in improving work efficiencies and time with patients, according to the survey conducted by Geneia, a Harrisburg, PA-based healthcare analytics solutions and services firm.

Around 44 percent of responding physicians said data and analytics tools improve quality performance, Medicare Star ratings, and HEDIS reporting. For population health users, this percentage increases to 55 percent.

Physicians with more exposure to data analytics tools have a slightly more positive outlook on the benefits of those tools. Close to two-thirds of population health users have a positive view of the ability of data analytics tools to help assess patient history and needs compared to half of non-users.

Three-quarters of respondents said that value-based care models and population health tools are useful in identifying high-risk patients who need screening or care management. Seventy percent said that these models and tools are useful in narrowing and flagging patients who need proactive screening or monitoring, and 60 percent said they are useful in providing risk assessments to classify patients into low-, rising-, and high-risk groups.

Close to 80 percent of respondents said they value “having a seamlessly integrated EHR analytics tool able to produce predictive analytics reporting on your existing data.”

A disturbing 86 percent physicians said that the increased requirements for data reporting to support metrics and the business-side of healthcare have diminished their enjoyment of practicing medicine.

Almost all the respondents agreed that the amount of time they spend on data input and reporting has increased in the last 10 years.

Eighty percent of respondents said they are at risk for burnout, and 70 percent said they know a physician who is likely to burn out in the next five years.

Close to 90 percent of respondents said that the business and regulation of healthcare have changed the practice of medicine for the worse.

Nearly all respondents said that EHRs should be designed to integrate with the technology systems used by their office and insurance providers. More than half said their EHRs don’t integrate with other systems.

Two-thirds of respondents said they lack the appropriate staff and resources to analyze and use EHR data to its full extent.

Physician misery on the rise

Geneia also puts out a physician misery index to measure US physician satisfaction. The misery index has increased to 3.94 out of 5, from 3.78 when the inaugural survey was conducted in 2015.

The most recent survey found that female doctors have a higher level of dissatisfaction than male doctors. In fact, 77 percent of female doctors said they know of a colleague who is likely to stop practicing medicine as a result of burnout in the next five years. This compares with only 67 percent of male doctors who had the same response.

Again, 73 percent of female doctors said that challenges of practicing medicine have caused them to consider career options outside of clinical practice. This compares with only 62 percent of male doctors who have had similar thoughts.

A full 89 percent of female doctors said that they personally feel at risk for burnout at some point in their career, compared to 76 percent of male doctors.

“In the years since Geneia’s inaugural physician misery index, awareness of epidemic levels of physician burnout has increased dramatically,” said Geneia President Heather Lavoie. “Yet, there is much more work for all of us in healthcare to do to restore the joy of medicine to today’s physicians. We’re calling on all health IT companies to involve physicians in the design and implementation of health technology products and to measure physician satisfaction.”

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