AAFP Joins AmericanEHR Partners

Collaboration Provides Technology-hungry FPs Access to Product Resources

June 26, 2012 04:30 pm Sheri Porter

Today, the AAFP announced that it has become the newest member of a partnership known as AmericanEHR Partners. The decision to collaborate with 20 other professional medical organizations and Cientis Technologies means that family physicians shopping for an electronic health record (EHR) system now have access to a resource that includes clinician-provided comments and ratings.

According to a June 26 press release from the AAFP, AmericanEHR Partners was co-founded by the American College of Physicians and Cientis Technologies to provide "comprehensive and trustworthy information" to assist physicians in the selection of EHRs.

Steven Waldren, M.D., director of the AAFP's Center for Health IT, said the Academy joined AmericanEHR Partners at the appropriate point in time. "This is a handoff," Waldren told AAFP News Now. "We're shifting our EHR selection work to this group so that we can focus our efforts on helping family physicians maximize the EHR systems they've already implemented in their practices."

Waldren pointed out that for nearly a decade, the Academy worked aggressively to provide family physicians with the tools they needed to select, purchase and install the right EHRs for their practices. However, said Waldren, "Our new focus must be on the use and functionality of EHRs in the patient-centered medical home environment."

Story Highlights

  • The AAFP has joined a collaborative group known as AmericanEHR Partners that includes more than 20 professional medical organizations and Cientis Technologies and that aims to make electronic health record (EHR) selection easier for physicians.
  • Partnership in the group allows AAFP members access to a list of certified EHR products and gives them the ability to compare product features, read user evaluations and note ratings from their colleagues about various EHR systems.
  • Joining the collaborative group enables the AAFP to focus on helping family physicians maximize the EHR systems they've already purchased and implemented.
  • side-by-side comparisons of EHR system features,
  • user evaluations and
  • EHR rating results by practice size.

In an interview with AAFP News Now, Cientis CEO Alan Brookstone, M.D., said he understands the frustration that physicians feel when they face technology decisions. "I've been there. I am a practicing family physician with more than 25 years of experience in urban and rural practice settings," he said. "AmericanEHR Partners was founded in July 2010 and is unique in that it brings together frequently updated information on the collective experience of thousands of U.S. primary care physicians who are users of EHRs."

Brookstone noted that the AAFP and family physicians were leaders in the adoption and use of EHRs and related technology. "The knowledge and experience that AAFP members bring to fellow clinicians through AmericanEHR Partners will help advance adoption and effective use of EHRs by a broad range of specialties," he said.

Waldren pointed out that the most recent AAFP member survey showed that more than 63 percent of AAFP members were using an EHR to improve quality and efficiency in their practices.

According to Waldren, the Academy will continue its longstanding policy of refusing to recommend specific EHR products to members, but the AAFP will gather and make available to AmericanEHR Partners family physicians' reviews, rankings and assessments of EHRs based on their hands-on practice experiences.