SK&A Releases Updated EHR Adoption Rate Study

Feb. 18, 2010

Irvine, CA – February 17, 2010 – As healthcare providers make preparations to implement EHR solutions and qualify for federal incentives outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, SK&A, A Cegedim Company, today released its updated “Physician Office Usage of Electronic Healthcare Records Software” report, which shows a 36.1% EHR adoption rate in U.S. medical offices – a 3.2% increase since the February 2009 version of the study.

Like its predecessor study, the latest report identifies physician adoption rates by office size, practice size, practice specialties, patient volume, ownership, geography and other variables. This updated study also measures the level of software functionality available to and being utilized by physicians in medical offices to support the government’s newly defined “meaningful use” criteria.

SK&A’s study, which was based on completed telephone surveys with 180,000 U.S. physician offices, shows that 36.1% of physician offices are using EHR systems – a 3.2% increase in usage since the 2009 report’s adoption rate of 32.9%. Trends from the study show:

  • Physicians primarily use EHR systems for electronic notes (28.3%), as opposed to electronic labs/x-rays and electronic prescribing.
  • EHR adoption rates increase as the number of physicians, number of exam rooms and daily patient volume rise.
  • EHR adoption is more prevalent in hospital- or health system-owned sites. Hospital-owned and health-system-owned sites have adoption rates of 44.1% and 50.2%, respectively. On the contrary, non-hospital-owned and non-health-system-owned sites have adoption rates of 34.4% and 34.2%, respectively.
  • The specialty areas with the highest adoption rates include dialysis, critical care medicine and radiology. Those specialties with the lowest adoption rates include allergy/immunology, general surgery and general practice.

“SK&A is committed to being the leading provider of insight and intelligence on EHR adoption in U.S. medical offices,” said Dave Escalante, SK&A Vice President of Data and Information Solutions. “This report series was initiated to satisfy many needs including driving EHR sales and marketing campaigns; understanding physician buying behaviors and preferences; validating market size and opportunity; and understanding regional adoption trends.”

“Among the latest users of SK&A’s research are hospitals, HMOs and nonprofits applying for recent federal grants such as the HIT Extension Program and the Beacon Community Program,” Escalante added.

SK&A’s research supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics’ recent findings, which estimate that 43.9% of doctors are using full or partial EHR systems. The statistics are based on a 2009 survey of 5,200 U.S. office-based physician sites. Both studies conclude that significantly more than half of physicians still do not have EHR systems in place.