Report: EHRs make biggest inroads in hospital-owned offices

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Medical offices owned by hospitals and health systems are the leaders in adopting EHR technology, according to the latest results of an ongoing survey by SK &A, a Cegedim company.

Results from the biannual survey show that the greatest jump in adoption rates between January and October 2010 was with medical offices owned by hospitals and health systems, according to the healthcare information solutions and research firm based in Irvine, Calif.

EHR adoption at hospital-owned offices grew from 44.1 percent to 54.9 percent (10.8 percent increase), and adoption at heath-system-owned offices grew from 50.2 percent to 61.2 percent (11 percent increase). Overall, U.S. medical office EHR adoption has grown from 36.1 percent to 38.7 percent.

The most commonly used EHR functions are electronic patient notes (28.4 percent), electronic labs/x-rays (27.3 percent) and electronic prescribing (25.9 percent), according to SK &A.

The survey identified the medical offices that have not adopted an EHR and is recording their expected timeframes for adoption, the primary factors and decision makers for making EHR purchases and the awareness of available government incentives.

Other findings of the current report include:

  • Physician offices with more exam rooms, more physicians on staff and higher daily patient volumes have the highest EHR adoption rates.
  • Specialties with the highest adoption rates are radiology (59.9 percent), pathology (59.8 percent), aerospace medicine (59.5 percent), dialysis (59.3 percent) and emergency medicine (57.6 percent).
  • Northern (40.9 percent) and Southern (40.1 percent) states have the highest rates of adoption.
  • The top three leading states for adoption are Minnesota (62.6 percent), Utah (55.4 percent) and Wisconsin (52.3 percent).

SK&A’s report is based on an ongoing study of U.S. physician offices, featuring EHR adoption data and summarized market research from 213,500 medical offices representing 643,000 physicians.