What’s keeping physicians awake at night?

Physicians worry quality measures impact quality of care

MedCareerGuide | October 11, 2015

The boom in quality measures has many physicians worried about the impact on quality of care, but fewer have problems with health care IT systems.

That’s according a new survey conducted by the Commonwealth Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey found that half of physicians think that the increased use of quality metrics has a “negative impact” on quality of care. Less than one-quarter (22%) of surveyed physicians said they view quality metrics as a good thing.

According to an article in AAFP News, the worst-case scenario goes something like this: By focusing too much on a particular metric like diabetic care, physicians may miss other problems with a patient. When physicians are so focused on meeting metrics, the thinking goes, they may miss the big picture.

“There is so much emphasis placed on measurement that it becomes a burden that takes away from caring for the patient,” explains AAFP President Robert Wergin, MD.

While health care IT systems often get a bad rap, the survey found that only 28% of physicians say the technology has a negative impact on their practices. Surprisingly, half of physicians say that health IT systems have a positive impact on patient care.

The survey also found that physicians are concerned about consolidation in health care. Nearly one-fifth (17%) of physicians responding to the survey reported that their practices were purchased by or merged with a larger practice or health system in the last two years.


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