Gaps exist in Electronic Medical Record adoption

Although the overall percentage of hospitals with basic electronic health record systems increased from 15.1 percent in 2010 to 26.6 percent in 2011, small, rural, and non-teaching hospitals continue to be slow to adopt this technology, according to a study in Health Affairs. 

Key findings from the study, which examined national survey data on US hospitals from 2011 include:

  • The percent of hospitals with a comprehensive electronic health record system has also increased from 3.6 percent in 2010 to 8.7 percent in 2011, and the percent of hospitals able to meet meaningful use criteria also rose in 2011. 
  • Only 20.8 percent of small hospitals had adopted an electronic medical record system in 2011, compared to 43.0 percent of large hospitals.
  • Hospitals in rural areas showed growth in medical record adoption, but had the lowest rate of any group analyzed at 19.4 percent in 2011.

The authors state that policymakers should increase their focus on small and rural hospitals to ensure that policies do not further widen gaps in adoption.

 

(Sources: Health Affairs, http://content.healthaffairs.org, April 2012; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, April 26, 2012)