Increased Use of Electronic Medical Records has Improved the Quality of Treatment Decisions in the United Arab Emirates, According-to-Accentures-Physician-Survey
Dec 8, 2015
ABU DHABI; Dec. 8, 2015 – A new survey by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) found most doctors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are more proficient using electronic medical records (EMR) than they were two years ago.
The UAE findings, part of an online survey of 2,921 physicians in seven countries, including 302 in UAE, found two-thirds of doctors are more proficient using EMR than they were two years ago. Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of doctors in the UAE say EMR has improved the quality of treatment decisions and has reduced medical errors.
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“Despite the rapid uptake of electronic medical records, the industry is facing the reality that digital records alone are not sufficient to driving better, more-efficient care in the long-term," said Dr. Majid Al Tuwaijri, managing director for Accenture’s health and public service business in the Middle East and North Africa. “The findings underscore the importance of adopting both technology and new care processes, as some leading health systems have already done, so that as electronic records evolve, so too will the benefits to physicians and patient care.”
Increase in Online Services for Patients
Driven by growing demand for patient engagement, doctors in all seven countries reported a range of services that are now available to patients online. Many UAE doctors allow patients to self-schedule an appointment online (41 percent of respondents), view health information during consultation (36 percent), receive reminders when it’s time for preventative or follow-up care (33 percent), communicate with their doctor through secure email (32 percent), consult with clinicians through video conferencing (30 percent) and use tele-monitoring devices, such as wearables, to track their health indicators (29 percent).
The survey also showed that doctors in the UAE believe that allowing patients to update their own medical records increases patient and physician communication (cited by 89 percent of respondents), improves patient satisfaction (87 percent), boosts understanding of their health conditions (87 percent), enhances engagement in their own health (85 percent) and increases the accuracy of their medical records (84 percent).
Healthcare IT Adoption Among Physicians
The survey found that the IT capabilities that doctors in the UAE use routinely are as follows: entering patient notes electronically (26 percent); electronically sending order requests to laboratories (22 percent); using electronic administration tools (18 percent); and prescribing drugs electronically (17 percent).
Although roughly three-in-five (62 percent) doctors in the UAE believe EMR has improved health outcomes, about the same percentage (61 percent) say IT has increased the amount of time they have to spend with patients. Meanwhile, the majority of doctors believe easy-to-use data-entry systems (60 percent) and interoperability (57 percent) are important for improving the quality of patient care through healthcare IT, but many (58 percent) find the EMR system in their organization is hard to use.
“The industry needs to adapt to a new generation of patients who are taking proactive roles in their healthcare and expect to have real-time data at their fingertips,” said Dr. Al Tuwaijri. “When patients have a greater role in the healthcare process, it can increase their understanding of conditions, improve motivation and serve as a clear differentiator for clinical care provided by physicians."
Accenture commissioned an online survey of 2,921 doctors in seven countries to assess their adoption and attitudes toward electronic health records and healthcare IT. The seven countries represented were Australia (510), Brazil (504), England (502), Norway (302), Singapore (200), UAE (302) and the United States (601). The survey was conducted by Nielsen between December 2014 and January 2015, followed by a second field period in UAE from September to November 2015.