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ONC’s Fridsma: EHR Usage Has Doubled Among PCPs

April 17, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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At the ICD-10 Summit, sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Dr. Doug Fridsma, director of the Office of Standards and Interoperability of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) remarked how the percentage of doctors using EHRs has doubled over the past two years.

“We are making real progress on EHR adoption and we are developing a workforce that is beginning to be trained to support this progress,” said Fridsma, citing ONC statistics which noted the number of primary care physicians who have used EHRs over the past two years has doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent. He said from 2009, the number of hospitals adopting the technology has more than doubled from 16 percent to 35 percent.

Fridsma said how developing the foundation of interoperable health information exchange is an evolving journey. He said there is need for an incremental approach and to question each step along the way to make sure it’s the best solution. Providers participating in the Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange, a group of federal agencies and private sector organizations that have implemented the portfolio of standards, service and policies that allow information to be exchanged securely over the Internet, are achieving measurable success. 

The example cited by Fridsma was the Social Security Administration’s ability to process disability claims 45 percent faster when querying for and receiving medical records through the Exchange.

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