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Survey: Pediatricians' EHRs Lack Basic Functionality

November 21, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Pediatricians are not as up to par in the usage of EHRs as some of their fellow doctors, a recent survey led by researchers at Seattle Children's Hospital and East Carolina University with accompanying data from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), revealed. According to the researchers, pediatricians are up to two years behind the overall rate of EHR adoption, while those that have systems are without basic functionality.

The survey looked at 646 members of the academy in a office or clinical-based setting from February to July 2009 and found while 54 percent of respondents used an EMR and 41 percent used an EHR, only 25 percent of the systems met the definition of a “basic” system. Only six percent of the systems were fully functional.  Such things as immunization tracking, weight-based dosing and growth charts/percentile calculation were missing from these EHRs, the authors found.

In addition, pediatricians in multispecialty practices and in hospital-based practices were more likely to use basic or fully functional EHRs than those in solo or two-physician practices

“Barriers to adoption include financial and productivity concerns, but pediatricians are also concerned about finding systems that meet their needs. Few pediatricians use a system that is pediatric-supportive. To help identify pediatric-supportive systems, EHR certification efforts should include these requirements,” the authors wrote in the abstract.

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