bannerHON
img
HONnews
HONnews
img PATIENT / PARTICULIER img PROFESSIONNEL DE SANTE img WEBMESTRE img
img
 
img
HONcode sites
Khresmoi - new !
HONselect
News
Conferences
Images

Themes:
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z
Browse archive:
2014: N O S A J J M A M F J
2013: D N

 
  Other news for:
Physicians
Health Care Costs
Technology, Medical
 Resources from HONselect
Doctors' Use of E-Records More Than Doubles
Government programs to defray costs help physicians install these electronic systems, report says

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 80 percent of doctors in the United States have switched from paper to electronic health records, new government statistics show.

By 2012, almost 72 percent of physicians had made the change, compared to just under 35 percent in 2007, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since then, the number of doctors using electronic health records has increased even more, added lead researcher Esther Hing, a statistician at CDC's U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

"In 2013, 78 percent of physicians were using electronic health record systems," Hing said. "We are reaching nearly all the doctors."

Hing noted that the progress is largely the result of the federal government's financial incentives to help doctors change to electronic recordkeeping.

"These incentives have had a large part in the increased adoption of these systems," Hing said.

However, many doctors (about 40 percent) aren't using the full capabilities of their system, Hing noted. Once the system is installed, there is a steep learning curve before doctors and other staff are able to use it efficiently, she said.

Basic systems keep track of patient data, prescriptions and lab test results, Hing explained. More advanced features can graph patient tests to note trends and keep track of changes in the patients' health over time.

Hing noted that the real goal of these systems is to improve patient care. However, whether or not they do is still unknown.

"We are still evaluating the results. We think it improves the care provided to a patient. Anecdotally, in certain settings, it's been demonstrated that these systems have improved health by improving coordination of care, reducing medication errors and overuse of tests," Hing added.

Of the doctors who turned to electronic health records by 2012, 39.6 percent used a basic system, up from 11.8 percent in 2007, the researchers found. And 23.5 percent had a fully functional system, up from 3.8 percent in 2007, according to the findings published May 20 in the CDC's National Health Statistics Reports.

Hing also noted that in 2007 larger practices (11 doctors or more) were more likely to have an electronic record system (just over 74 percent) than smaller practices (about 21 percent), but by 2012 that gap had narrowed.

As more doctors adopted electronic record systems, however, the gap between those who used a basic system and those who took advantage of all the features of their system widened from an estimated 10 percent in 2007 to about 31 percent in 2012, Hing said.

One expert applauded the increased use of electronic health records.

"Medicine is entering the 21st century at long last," said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund. "Despite the fact that it's hard for many individuals -- especially those in solo practice, especially older physicians and nurses -- despite the fact that it's hard for them and the systems aren't perfect, we are on the way toward the information age in medicine. We are finally getting there."

Blumenthal added, "I have absolutely no question that there will be a payoff in terms of patient care."

Doctors aren't the only ones turning to electronic health records. A report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last July found that the number of hospitals with a basic electronic health records system tripled from 2010 to 2012, with more than four of every 10 hospitals equipped with the new health information technology.

More information

Visit HealthIT.gov for more on electronic health records.

SOURCES: Esther Hing, M.P.H., statistician, U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; David Blumenthal, M.D., president, Commonwealth Fund; May 20, 2014, CDC's National Health Statistics Reports, Trends in Electronic Health Record System Use Among Office-based Physicians: United States, 2007-2012

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=687998

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Physicians
Motivation
Research Personnel
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


Home img About us img MediaCorner img HON newsletter img Site map img Ethical policies img Contact