Rates of Electronic Health Record Use Rise, but Challenges Remain
A new study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that physicians’ adoption of basic electronic health records has risen over the past year, though more advanced use of EHRs for exchanging information among providers or managing the care provided to all of a practice’s patients remains relatively uncommon.
The study, supported by the Commonwealth Fund, found that basic EHR use – defined as using the EHR to view lab results or order prescription drugs electronically, among other tasks – has risen from nearly 34 percent in early 2011 to 44 percent by March 2012. The authors suggested that additional training and assistance will likely be needed to accelerate EHR adoption and enable providers to take advantage of the broader range of EHR functionality.
The survey was conducted in the early phases of implementation of the federal incentive program that provides payments to providers for the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology, meaning that the results may evolve over time as the program becomes more established. Most behavioral health providers and facilities are not currently eligible to participate in the health IT incentive program. Visit our Behavioral Health IT page to learn more and take action.
image via aafp.org