Study: Most Physicians Aren’t Meeting Meaningful Use Criteria for EHRs | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: Most Physicians Aren’t Meeting Meaningful Use Criteria for EHRs

June 4, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

As of early 2012, fewer than one in 10 doctors had met meaningful use criteria for electronic health record (EHR) systems, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study found that while increasing numbers use a basic EHR—from nearly 34 percent in early 2011 to 44 percent in March 2012— only 9.8 percent of 1,820 primary care and specialty doctors said they had electronic systems that met U.S. rules for meaningful use.

The physicians surveyed were randomly selected from a sample obtained from the American Medical Association from October 2011 to March 2012. The survey inquired about measures of EHR adoption previously developed by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • More than four of 10 primary care physicians (45 percent) and specialists (41 percent) use a “basic EHR.” Basic EHR functions include viewing lab results and ordering prescription drugs electronically. Physicians practicing in larger groups were more likely than their counterparts to have a basic EHR.
  • While the percentage of physicians reporting that they meet all 11 federal meaningful-use criteria was small, a larger share reported meeting most of them. Among primary care physicians, 41 percent had between eight and 10 meaningful-use functions, as did 37 percent of specialists.
  • The most commonly performed tasks using EHRs were: viewing lab results, ordering prescriptions electronically, viewing X-rays, and recording clinical notes.
  • Among physicians who reported they were close to meeting the federal standard (i.e., those with between eight and 10 of the required functions), many reported challenges using the more advanced EHR features that allow data to be exchanged electronically with physicians outside the practice, generate quality metrics, or provide patients with an after-visit summary.

In instances where EHR systems with advanced functionality were implemented, physicians said they were not always easy to use. "Using EHRs as simple replacements for the paper record will not result in the gains in quality and efficiency or the reductions in costs that EHRs have the potential to achieve," the authors wrote. To encourage physicians to take advantage of the broad range of EHR functionality, physicians may require assistance with implementation, training, and upgrading systems. In addition, further research on usability could help realize the full potential of these tools.

Topics

News

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.