Epocrates' Survey Finds 95 Percent of Physicians Have Experienced Difficulty Delivering Care Due to Inaccessible Patient Records

WATERTOWN, Mass. and CHICAGO, April 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Results from a national survey of nearly 3,000 physicians who use the Epocrates medical reference app reveal nearly unanimous frustration over the inability to share and access electronic health information across the care continuum. As a step toward mitigating this chronic and costly challenge, athenahealth is today rolling out CommonWell services at no cost to its 62,000 health care provider clients nationwide.

An infographic accompanying this release is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/8231/file/33204.pdf

The Epocrates study, prepared by athenahealth, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHN), a leading provider of cloud-based services and mobile applications for medical groups and health systems, found the following:

  • 95 percent of physicians experienced a delay or difficulty delivering medical care because patients' health records were not accessible/shared.
  • Only 14 percent of physicians said they can access usable electronic health information across all care delivery sites.
  • The vast majority of physicians (87 percent) identified EHR technical shortcomings as the leading barrier to interoperation; obstacles established by EHR vendors and by hospital/health systems were also highly cited.
  • 79 percent of physicians ranked the ability to access relevant patient data from other EHR systems as "very important;" and equal in importance to both security and privacy of patient data, and patient engagement.
  • Poor information flow happens during transitions at every point in the care continuum. Even when physicians practice within the same organization, only 44 percent report they can share patient information.
  • Physicians rated medication lists as the information that is most often inaccurate when coming from another health care organization, followed by lab and imaging results.

"This survey confirms what we hear anecdotally from providers every day—in health care, we can capture and store data electronically, but we fail miserably at sharing it across the care continuum," said Jonathan Bush, CEO of athenahealth. "Like the providers we serve, we at athenahealth believe in patient-centered information exchange; meaning, a patient's health information should follow them to every care setting, no matter the EHR system in place. Being interoperable on paper or via system certification alone isn't good enough; vendors must take measures to advance actual interoperation activity across health care."

As part of its effort to advance patient-centered information exchange, today at HIMSS athenahealth announced it has made CommonWell services available to its entire client base of more than 62,000 health care providers nationwide. Because of its cloud-based model, athenahealth is the only CommonWell member with the ability to enable instant access to CommonWell's interoperability services. In partnership with its clients, athenahealth will work to bring as many of the patients who are treated by its provider clients onto the CommonWell network.

"With 79 percent of physicians saying that the vast majority of patients they treat also receive care from caregivers outside their core network, it's critical for information to follow the patient," said Todd Rothenhaus, MD, chief medical officer and SVP of Network Knowledge at athenahealth. "Just as we partnered with our clients to succeed at Meaningful Use, achieving a 98 percent Stage 2 attestation rate when the industry is only at about 30 percent, we will work with our clients to achieve meaningful information exchange. We believe health care organizations that embrace patient-centered information exchange will be the most profitable in the future."

To learn more about athenahealth's interoperability work, please visit the athenahealth booth #2023, where demonstrations of standards-based frameworks that enable information to be easily accessed from within the athenaClinicals® EHR will take place. This will include SMART on FHIR Demonstrations:

To see the full results of the national interoperability survey click here; to find its associated infographic visit this link.

athenahealth continues to make strides in connecting care. The company currently enables more than 2 billion transactions annually across more than 52,000 exchange partners. The company has more than 169,000 interfaces already built across its network; including more than 2,100 imaging centers and labs, and 39,000 pharmacies. In addition, in the first quarter of 2015 alone, athenahealth exchanged over 8 million CCDAs with external systems. The company is strongly positioned to support its rapidly growing network and future interoperability success.

About athenahealth, Inc.

athenahealth is a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health records (EHR), revenue cycle management and medical billing, patient engagement, care coordination, and population health management, as well as Epocrates and other point-of-care mobile apps. We connect care and drive meaningful, measurable results for more than 62,000 health care providers in medical practices and health systems nationwide. For more information, please visit www.athenahealth.com.

CONTACT: Holly Spring athenahealth, Inc. (Media) media@athenahealth.com 617-402-1631 Dana Quattrochi athenahealth, Inc. (Investors) investorrelations@athenahealth.com 617-402-1329

Source: athenahealth, Inc.