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Medical Coding News Archives

Report Shows More Doctors Adopting EHRs

February 7, 2013:

Trudy Whitehead, CPC-H, CMAS, Clinical/Technical Editor

Physicians’ adoption of electronic health record (EHR) and other computerized tools continues to rise nationwide as part of efforts to improve and better coordinate patient health care, according to a new data brief from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

In December 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported that the percentage of doctors adopting electronic health records increased from 48 percent in 2009 to 72 percent in 2012. The report also reveals that the percentage of physicians able to e-prescribe has risen from 33 percent to 73 percent and that 56 percent of physicians use computers to engage with patients and their families by providing summaries after visits. This is an increase of 46 percent over 2011.

The data brief, “Physician Adoption of Electronic Health Record Technology to Meet Meaningful Use Objectives,” reports an increase by at least 66 percent in the number of doctors meeting the five meaningful use core objectives since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was enacted in 2009. The HITECH Act authorized incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program to eligible professionals and hospitals for adoption and meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Professionals are required to demonstrate computerized capabilities that meet defined meaningful use objectives to participate in the program. The data brief is based on the NCHS’s 2012 National Electronic Health Record Survey, a mail survey of physicians.

Farzard Mostashari, the national coordinator of health IT for ONC, states that “the increase in the number of physicians that are adopting EHRs and other computerized capabilities to meet meaningful use objectives related to quality, patient safety, and efficiency is encouraging. Patients are the primary beneficiaries as more and more doctors adopt the use of electronic tools like EHRs.”

The new data brief also shows:

  • An increase of at least 21 percent in the past year of doctors using EHRs meeting nine meaningful use measures
  • As of 2012, two-thirds or more of physicians are equipped to improve patient safety through electronic tools such as drug interaction checks and electronic medication lists
  • In 2012, there were 15 required measures; the data brief reports on 13. Fifty percent or more of physicians report they have adopted computerized tools to meet 12 meaningful use core objectives. At least 66 percent have adopted computerized tools to meet nine out of the 13 measures.


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