HIT may tie up primary care physicians, reduce capacity

While improving the reach of health IT within a healthcare organization may support better data collection, it may also take up physician time, according to a study from the American Journal of Managed Care, which tracked health IT expansion in primary care practices.

When examining the extent to which practices had integrated health IT, researchers found primary care physicians with more in-office health IT were less likely to anticipate having the capacity to accept new patients.

While the researchers didn't closely track implementation timelines or take EHR vendors into account, they noted it was likely capacity limitations due to health IT implementation could be come evident within one to two years after implementation of increased health IT at a practice.

"In an era of concurrent HIT and insurance coverage expansions, policy makers must weigh the unintended consequences of each in order to optimize capacity to care for the newly insured," the researchers concluded.

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