More Doctors and Hospitals Planning to Adopt Electronic Health Records

Four-fifths of the nation's hospitals but only 41 percent of office-based physicians say they'll take advantage of federal incentive payments to adopt electronic health records (EHR), according to recent surveys.

Clinicians and hospitals that use electronic health records are eligible for incentives from a $19 billion pool allotted by the 2009 economic stimulus bill.

Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, commented:

"The survey numbers represent a reversal of the low interest in EHR adoptions in previous years."

Survey findings include:

  • 81% of hospitals plan to achieve meaningful use of EHRs and take advantage of incentive payments, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA) survey;
  • 41% of office-based physicians are currently planning to achieve meaningful use of EHRs and take advantage of incentive payments, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) survey;
  • 30% of primary care physicians have already adopted the basic EHR (an increase of 50% from 2008), according to the NCHS survey

Digitized medical records make retrieving and transferring medical information between doctors and hospitals easier and faster. Implementing EHR technology will also provide greater opportunities for patients in hard-to-access regions of the Untied States.

Developing a strong health care IT system is an integral part of the National Broadband Plan. Increased use of EHRs provides doctors, hospitals, and patients an opportunity will result in improved health care quality, safety, and cost.

Surveys show significant proportions of hospitals and doctors already plan to adopt electronic health records and qualify for federal incentive payments (HHS)

Broadband is Cornerstone to Improved Health IT (Speed Matters)