In 2011, 55% of office-based physicians said they used an electronic health record system, and of those physicians, 85% said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the technology, according to a report released Tuesday by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 7/17).
Of the surveyed doctors who were not using an EHR system, nearly half said they plan to start using an already-purchased system or buy an EHR system within the next year (HHS release, 7/17).
Satisfaction With EHR Systems
Of the surveyed doctors who reported using an EHR system:
- 38% said they were very satisfied with the technology;
- 47% said they were somewhat satisfied;
- 10% said they were somewhat dissatisfied; and
- 5% said they were dissatisfied.
More than 70% of respondents who were using EHR technology said they would purchase the same system again (Modern Healthcare, 7/17).
Capabilities of EHR Systems
Of the surveyed doctors who reported using EHR technology, 77% said their EHR system meets federal meaningful use requirements. Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments.
Of the survey respondents who reported using EHR systems:
- 74% said they had used their EHR system to access a patient’s chart remotely in the past month;
- 50% said their EHR system had alerted them to critical laboratory results in the past month; and
- 41% said their EHR system had alerted them to potential medication errors in the past month (NCHS report, 7/17).
Mostashari Comments on Findings
In a “Health IT Buzz” blog post, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari wrote that the NCHS report “shows that EHRs are taking hold among a larger number of providers who believe that the use of technology leads to better, safer, more coordinated health care.”
He added, “While more work certainly needs to be done, [the report] shows that most physicians are satisfied with their EHRs and believe that their systems provide tangible benefits for patients today. This will only increase as physicians become more skilled at using their systems and systems continue to evolve to support additional capabilities” (Mostashari, “Health IT Buzz,” Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, 7/17).