Physician office usage of electronic health records (EHRs) has increased in solo and smaller practices, and implementation continues to grow across the board for all U.S. offices, according to a new survey from SK&A, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of healthcare information solutions and research.
Based on an ongoing telephone survey of 270,036 U.S. medical sites, SK&A’s report showed an overall EHR adoption rate of 61 percent, up from 50.3 percent from the prior year. The adoption rate for single-doctor offices grew 11.4 percentage points, from 42.3 percent to 53.7 percent, while the adoption rate for offices with 26 or more doctors increased only 1.6 percentage points, from 75.9 percent to 77.5 percent.
Other EHR utilization trends include:
- EHR adoption among integrated health systems had the highest rate of all site ownerships. The percentage jumped to 71.4 percent from 63.4 percent a year ago.
- EHR adoption rises as the number of physicians practicing at each site rises. Offices with three to five practicing physicians had 69.6-percent adoption, while offices with 11 to 25 practicing physicians had 78.1 percent adoption.
- EHR adoption rises as the average daily patient volume at each site rises. Offices with average daily patient volumes of one to fifty patients had 57.5 percent adoption, while offices with 101-plus patients had 76.3-percent adoption.
- The top five states for EHR adoption are Utah (71.6 percent), South Dakota (71.2 percent), Wyoming (71.0 percent), Iowa (70.8 percent), and North Dakota (69.2 percent).
“What has accelerated the adoption of electronic health records among smaller practices is the availability of more than 450 different solutions to fit their practice needs, size and budget,” Jack Schember, Sr., director of marketing for SK&A, said in a statement. “The healthcare IT community responded well to the opportunity presented by the EHR adoption incentives offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by providing a variety of options to physicians with relatively easy implementation and training support. Physicians also realize they have a limited window of opportunity to take advantage of federal reimbursements by showing ‘meaningful use’ of digital record-keeping technology.”