US Docs lag behind in usage of EHRs

The U.S. health care system lags behind many other industrialized nations in health IT adoption and other measures related to health care access and quality, according to a new study.

The study was published online today in the journal Health Affairs (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 11/5).

For the study, researchers surveyed more than 10,000 primary care physicians in 11 countries between February and July 2009 .

The study found that 46% of U.S. physicians use electronic health records, up from 28% in 2006.

The researchers found that 99% of doctors in the Netherlands use EHRs. Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the U.K. also reported EHR adoption rates of 94% or higher.

Among the surveyed countries, only Canada lagged behind the U.S., with an EHR adoption rate of 37% .

The study also found that advanced EHR use in the U.S. tends to occur in large, integrated group practices. Researchers noted that the countries with the highest EHR adoption rates reported no significant differences in rates of advanced use among physician practices of different sizes (Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare, 11/5).

Researchers found that at least half of the physicians in Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have a process to track adverse medical events.

They noted that 20% of U.S. doctors said they have an effective risk monitoring system, while a third of U.S. physicians said they have no such system.

Here is a link to the full study –


2 thoughts on “US Docs lag behind in usage of EHRs

  1. Frank Rezny November 11, 2009 / 5:59 pm

    Stop using EHR and EMR interchangeably. They are not synonyms. Canada Health Infoway provides a good definition of EHR, PHR, EMR and several other acronyms.
    Without a definition, it is impossible to relate numbers and usage figures because they do NOT map to the same creature.
    The usage of a record keeping system in a hospital based system is not at all the same as that in a medical office.
    A medical record that consists of scanned documents without OCR or extensive transliteration into searchable text is no better than a microfilm or microfiche library. It doesn’t improve the user’s ability to sort through and manage information. It doesn’t allow them to work faster. While it serves to reduce the cost of clerical functions of filing and retrieving documents, it provides NO advantage to the health care provider over a paper chart.
    The usage rates noted are bogus because they do not reflect meaningful use by doctors.

  2. Adie November 11, 2009 / 11:49 pm

    Is that better?

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