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CDC Survey: Cardiologists, Neurologists Have Highest EHR Adoption Rates

March 27, 2017
by Heather Landi
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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Electronic Health Records Survey, office-based cardiologists and neurologists have the highest electronic health record (EHR) adoption rates by specialty, at 95.6 percent and 94.5 percent, respectively.

The 2015 National Electronic Health Records Survey (NEHRS), is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), is a nationally representative mixed mode survey of office-based physicians that collects information on physician and practice characteristics, including the adoption and use of EHR systems. NEHRS is conducted annually as a sample survey of nonfederal office-based patient care physicians, excluding anesthesiologists, radiologists, and pathologists.

The 2015 estimates are based on a sample of 10,302 physicians, which is designed to produce national and state-based estimates of office-based physicians, according to the CDC. The data provides overall physicians and specialty-based estimates of office-based physicians’ adoption of EHR/EMR (electronic medical record) systems. Physicians participating in the survey were asked if they have a basic system, which is a system that has all of the following functionalities: patient history and demographics, patient problem lists, physician clinical notes, comprehensive lists of patients’ medications and allergies, computerized orders for prescriptions, and the ability to view laboratory and imaging results electronically. A certified system was defined by physicians answering “yes” to having a current system that “meets meaningful use criteria defined by the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Based on the survey data, 86.9 percent of all physicians have any EHR or EMR system, while 53.9 reported having a basic system and 77.9 percent reported having a certified system.

As noted above cardiologists and neurologists had the highest adoption rates, followed by urology (94.0 percent), general surgery (93.8 percent), orthopedic surgery (93.2 percent) and general/family practice (92.7 percent). The data also indicated that psychiatrists are the least likely to use an EHR, as 61.3 percent of physicians within that specialty reporting using an EHR or EMR. Dermatologists are also less likely to use EHRs, as 70.2 percent reporting using them, according to the survey data, and 72.7 percent of ophthalmologists use any EHR or EMR.



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