Survey: Private sector outdoing states on EMR adoption
Though 57 percent of private-sector healthcare facilities are currently using EMRs, only 19 percent of state-run facilities have adopted them, according to research released by Citrix Systems, a provider of application delivery infrastructures. Otherwise, the survey of state- and private-sector health executives found that significant hurdles remain such as budget limitations, lack of staff support, and technical difficulties.
Citrix found in its research that many communities are establishing RHIOs to facilitate medical record-sharing between healthcare facilities, at least on a local level. RHIO participation offer immediate access to the latest patient information, increased collaboration between providers, and access to information about EMR systems themselves, according to survey respondents. Forty-three percent of respondents said they are involved in a RHIO, whereas just 20 percent indicated the same for the private sector. Similar hurdles are seen with RHIO participation, with awareness and education seen as a problem, as well as lack of EMR access, and budget problems, according to Citrix.
Despite being ahead in RHIO participation, not many states have set firm deadlines for statewide EMR usage. For example, only 16 percent of state health executives and 6 percent of private-sector health IT executives said their states had set a timeline.
 “States need to quickly adopt a proactive EMR/RHIO leadership role in order to realize the 2014 goal of e-health records for all Americans,” said Bert Wakeley, director of State and Local Government, Citrix. “States can help healthcare organizations overcome the cultural, budgetary, and technical challenges to EMR adoption by setting timelines, raising awareness, and providing access to funding and technology resources.”
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