EMR use by doctors on the rise

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A new report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics claims that the electronic medical record usage by office-based physicians in the United States is increasing. The report looked at 2005 data and concluded that almost 23.9 percent physicians are using full or partial EMRs, representing a 31 percent uptick from the 18.2 percent reported in 2001. However, not all physicians are using the systems to their full potential, the CDC said.

Some of the other key findings include:

  • Doctors working in the Midwest (26.9 percent) and West  (33.4 percent) were more frequently making use of EMRs compared to those in  the Northeast (14.4 percent);  
  • Physicians in urban areas (nearly 24.8 percent) use  the systems more than those in non-metropolitan areas (16.9);  and  
  • Not all physicians are using the all of the  capabilities offered by an EMR. Just 9.3 percent of physicians use the systems  for each of the four basic functions that they offer: computerized orders for  prescriptions, computerized orders for tests, reporting of test results, and  physician notes. These functions are considered necessary for a complete EMR  system, according to the report.