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Medical groups name their top tech concern, and it's not AI

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Most are more concerned with getting more out of their electronic health records and improving communications with patients, an MGMA survey found.

At healthcare conferences around the country, artificial intelligence typically gets center stage and is the hottest topic of discussion.

Medical groups say their top tech concern isn't related to AI. Getting more out of their electronic health records tops the list, according to an MGMA survey. (Image credit: ©andranik123 - stock.adobe.com)

Medical groups say their top tech concern isn't related to AI. Getting more out of their electronic health records tops the list, according to an MGMA survey. (Image credit: ©andranik123 - stock.adobe.com)

However, AI didn’t make it to the top in a recent poll of medical groups about their top technology priorities.

The Medical Group Management Association polled its members this month and respondents said their top concern is the usability of their electronic health records.

More than one-third (35%) of the respondents said getting more out of their electronic health records is their leading tech concern, according to the MGMA Stat poll.

Medical groups said they wanted to improve their EHR interoperability with other health systems and practices.

Many doctors and medical groups have bemoaned the headaches in using their electronic health record systems. Physicians have routinely cited the time they’re spending on administrative tasks as a key contributor to burnout and stress.

Medical groups cited improving communications with patients as their second leading tech-related issue. About a quarter (26%) said they’d like better solutions with patient access and communications.

Respondents said they want to reduce the amount of time staff are working on handling phone calls, scheduling patient appointments and handling patient portals.

Medical groups said they wanted to invest more in their digital front doors, allowing patients to schedule appointments on their own. In addition to reducing staff time, medical groups hope they will have fewer patients skipping appointments.

More than one in five (21%) said they want to bring in more technology to their billing systems.

Respondents said they’d like to shift some revenue cycle management work from their staff and shift to automated billing and processing. Medical groups said they want to get more timely payments and utilize digital tools to get more insights in their revenue cycle. Practices also have found it more difficult to fill positions to handle billing.

After those other tech issues, AI ranked fourth among medical groups’ technical issues.

Roughly one in eight medical groups (13%) said artificial intelligence is their top technological priority. Most medical groups aren’t using AI regularly, previous MGMA surveys have found. A September poll found 21% of medical groups have added or expanded their use of AI tools.

Healthcare leaders have touted AI’s ability to dramatically change patient care, particularly in identifying patients at risk of developing cancers or other conditions. However, researchers have urged caution in the use of AI for diagnosis, particularly as studies have shown AI tools can reflect racial bias.

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