According to a recent report, the adoption of EHR systems by healthcare organizations and their participation in EHR incentives have increased significantly since 2009. The report was released to Congress by the Office of National Coordination for Health IT.
The following were the benefits of Health IT highlighted in the report:
According to the report, health IT can:
- Empower providers;
- Increase transparency;
- Boost the study of care and payment delivery systems; and
- Drive improvements in care, efficiency and population health.
The report also stresses that EHR adoptions have increased from 5% in 2009 to over 40% in 2012 driven by advancement in technology and meaningful use requirements. It was also found that the percentage of office-based physicians who were using some form of EHR had gone up to nearly 75, from a dreary 42% in 2009.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
Of the office-based physicians who used some form of EHR system, 40% used a “basic” EHR, which is nearly double the 21% who used a basic EHR in 2009, according to the report (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 6/27).
Health Information Exchange-Related Findings
The report also found that 39 states and territories had operational statewide health information exchanges as of December 2012.
According to the report:
- Four states in 2012 offered directed exchange services only in certain regions;
- Five states piloted a stage exchange program; and
- Eight states did not offer such services (Health Data Management, 6/27).
Remaining Barriers to Health IT Adoption
The report stated that several barriers to increased EHR and health information exchange adoption remain, including:
- Expanding interoperability;
- Cost and complexity of systems;
- Ensuring trust among exchange participants; and
- Encouraging information exchange, especially during care transitions (EHR Intelligence, 6/27).