Family physicians increase EHR use

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The number of family physicians using electronic health records has increased consistently since 2003 when the American Academy of Family Physicians began surveying its members.

Of the 459 respondents to the 2007 survey on EHR usage, 37 percent said their practice had fully implemented an EHR system, while 13 percent said their practice was in the process of adopting the technology.

AAFP's 2005 survey found that 30 percent of respondents were using EHRs in their practice, while its 2003 survey found that 10 to 15 percent of AAFP members had adopted the technology.

Physicians who were most likely to use an EHR system practiced in an urban area, had practiced for seven or fewer years, did not own their practices and worked in practices with at least two other doctors, according to the survey.

The 2007 survey also found that:

  • 53 percent of respondents who did not have EHRs cited cost as the reason;
  • 42 percent of respondents who did not have EHRs in their practice said their practice was concerned about decreased productivity;
  • 26 percent of respondents said they planned to purchase an EHR system in the future; and
  • 25 percent of respondents said they had no plans to adopt an EHR system at their practice.