Debating HITECH’s Influence on EHR Use

By Steve Spearman, Founder and Chief Security Consultant for Health Security Solutions
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Earlier this summer, the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) published a paper titled Impact of the HITECH act on physicians’ adoption of electronic health records, that analyzed how well HITECH has incentivized doctors to make the leap into EHR.

The Claim
Although the team of four PhDs found that EHR use rose 7 percentage points higher than predicted, they believe that the statistic is irrelevant, since it does not persist in alternative models. The team also believes that physicians are imitating each other’s use of new technology to be compliant and that physicians who tend to lead the way in adopting new technology show little enthusiasm for insignificant tech trends. In short, HITECH has done little to encourage physicians to adopt EHR.

The Counterclaim
While we don’t usually like to contradict academic research, we here at Health Security Solutions can’t help but be a bit skeptical.

And we’re not the only ones. Health Data Management’s news editor, Joe Goedert, has counter-argued that some of the relevant data used in the study is actually out of date. Instead, he offers some statistics of his own.

If you want to read the articles for yourself, we’ve provided links to both sides of the argument.

This article was originally published on Health Security Solutions and is republished here with permission.Steve Spearman hosts HIPAA Chat, a show produced by HITECH Answers airing on our Internet radio station, Learn more about HIPAA Chat or download podcasts of the show. Find out more about attending the next taping of HIPAA Chat and ask your questions directly to Steve.