This month the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released a new report: Use and Characteristics of Electronic Health Record Systems Among Office-based Physician Practices. Electronic health record (EHR) adoption by office-based physicians has increased from 18 percent in 2001 to 78 percent in 2013. In 2013, 48 percent of office-based physicians reported having a basic EHR system (nationwide); but there is significant variety from state-to-state.
New Jersey has the lowest rate of basic EHR adoption, with only 21 percent of office-based physicians having a basic EHR system. Basic EHR systems are far more common in the north Midwest, particularly North Dakota (83 percent of office-based physicians) and Minnesota (75.5 percent of office-based physicians). Basic EHR systems have the following capabilities: patient history and demographics, patient problem lists, physician clinical notes, comprehensive list of patients’ medications and allergies, computerized orders for prescriptions, and ability to view laboratory and imaging results electronically.
The report also notes that 69 percent of physicians have indicated that they plan to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive programs. However, only 13.1 percent of physicians who intend to participate in Stage 2 meaningful use are ready to do so.