AHRQ Health IT Update: Study Demonstrates More Health Care Providers Using EHRs Than Ever Before

New study provides baseline for EHR adoption among physicians and hospitals

Two new papers published by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the journal Health Affairs show significant increases in the use of electronic health records (EHRs) among the nation’s physicians and hospitals. 


The studies found that almost 8 in 10 (78 percent) office-based physicians reported they adopted some type of EHR system. About half of all physicians (48 percent) had an EHR system with advanced functionalities, a doubling of the adoption rate in 2009. About 6 in 10 (59 percent) hospitals had adopted an EHR system with certain advanced functionalities, quadruple the percentage for 2010. Unlike the physician study, the hospital study does not have an equivalent, established measure of adoption of some type of EHR system; it only reports on adoption of EHRs with advanced functionalities. 


The papers also show that more work is needed to support widespread health information exchange and providers’ ability to achieve Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.


More information is available at www.HealthIT.gov and @ONC-HealthIT.