Key takeaways from new data on EHR use

EHR adoption rates among practices across the country have skyrocketed in just a few short years.

EHR adoption rates among practices across the country have skyrocketed in just a few short years.

Earlier this week, we talked about how EHR use among doctors and practices across the country has skyrocketed in just a few short years. From 2007 to 2012, the number of office-based physicians that have adopted EHR software more than doubled from 35 percent to 72 percent — a figure that continued to rise to 78 percent just last year.

These were just some of the new findings released by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on Tuesday, May 27. Esther Hing, a survey statistician for the agency, told the Southern California public radio affiliate 89.3 KPCC that their ultimate goal is to have a majority of all healthcare organizations — from old and young doctors to large hospitals and small clinics — integrate EHR into their recordkeeping practices.

According to the station, other important takeaways from the new NCHS data include:

  • Although younger doctors use EHR most often, the biggest increase in use was seen in doctors 65-years and older, growing from 19 percent to 54 percent
  • As of 2012, two-thirds of primary care doctors utilize EHR systems
  • Number of physicians that use an EHR system meeting basic criteria (i.e. for use of at least six functions) grew from 12 percent in 2007 to 40 percent in 2012
  • One-in-four doctors — approximately 24 percent — had a fully functioning EHR system in 2012, compared to just 4 percent in 2007.

"Medicine is entering the 21st century at long last," Dr. David Blumenthal, president for the Commonwealth Fund, told HealthDay News. "Despite the fact that's hard for many individuals — especially those in solo practice, especially older physicians and nurses — despite the fact that it's hard for them and the systems aren't perfect, we are on the way toward the information age in medicine. We are finally getting there."

Chiropractors can invest in new chiropractic EHR software to help bring their clinics' recordkeeping up-to-date without impeding their regular workflow in the process.

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