CDC releases report on physician EHR adoption

Jan. 27, 2014

This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new data brief titled “Use and Characteristics of Electronic Health Record Systems Among Office-based Physician Practices: United States, 2001–2013.” Authored by Chun-Ju Hsiao, Ph.D., and Esther Hing, M.P.H., the brief details key findings on the state of EHR adoption among practice-based physicians in 2013, as compared with previous years. The brief also reports trends on “physicians' intent to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs and their readiness to meet 14 of the Stage 2 Core Set objectives for meaningful use in 2013.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • In 2013, 78% of office-based physicians used any type of electronic health record (EHR) system, up from 18% in 2001.
  • In 2013, 48% of office-based physicians reported having a system that met the criteria for a basic system, up from 11% in 2006. The percentage of physicians with basic systems by state ranged from 21% in New Jersey to 83% in North Dakota.
  • In 2013, 69% of office-based physicians reported that they intended to participate (i.e., they planned to apply or already had applied) in “meaningful use” incentives. About 13% of all office-based physicians reported that they both intended to participate in meaningful use incentives and had EHR systems with the capabilities to support 14 of the Stage 2 Core Set objectives for meaningful use.
  • From 2010 (the earliest year that trend data are available) to 2013, physician adoption of EHRs able to support various Stage 2 meaningful use objectives increased significantly.

Of particular interest to HIMSS is the finding that 69% of physicians reported intent to participate in an EHR incentive program (Medicaid or Medicare) in 2013. This is good news for patients because participation in the programs requires successful attestation for various functionalities and processes that bring a modicum of uniformity to care coordination and patient engagement.

Further, the reports finding of an adoption rate of 78% among physicians brings the nation significantly closer to President Bush's 2004 State of the Union Address calling for a plan to ensure that most Americans would have an electronic health record in the next 10 years. 2014 is 10 years from that day. 

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