EHR Adoption Driven by Capability of Meeting Meaningful Use

EHR Adoption on the rise

ONC Data Brief shows EHR Adoption on the rise

Yesterday the ONC released a data brief that supports the upward national trend of EHR adoption. Three researchers from the ONC’s Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation and Modeling took a closer look into the data released last week from the annual EHR survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).  The results of their research can be found in the data brief Physician Adoption of Electronic Health Record Technology to Meet Meaningful Use Objectives: 2009-2012.

Key findings from the data brief include:

  • Since the HITECH Act began physician EHR adoption to meet five Meaningful Use Core objectives has increased by 66%
  • Between 2011 and 2012 physician adoption of EHR technology to meet nine Meaningful Use Core objectives increased by 21%
  • In 2012, 50% or more physicians had adopted EHR technology to meet twelve Meaningful Use Stage 1 Core objectives
  • Physician adoption of EHR technology to meet selected Meaningful Use Stage 1 Menu and Stage 2 objectives has increased significantly

Overall conclusions of the research data brief include:

In 2012, nearly three-quarters of office-based physicians (72%) had adopted any EHR system and 4 out of 10 physicians (40%) had adopted basic EHR systems with certain advanced capabilities. Trends in EHR adoption overall have been driven by significant increases in physician adoption of specific computerized capabilities to meet Meaningful Use objectives.

Since 2009, there has been strong and steady growth in physician EHR adoption to meet Meaningful Use objectives to improve quality, safety and efficiency. Physicians’ capability to e-prescribe has more than doubled since 2009, and as of 2012, two-thirds of physicians had adopted computerized capabilities such as electronic medication lists (68%) and drug interaction checks (67%).

Physician adoption of EHR technology to engage with patients and their families has also substantially increased. In 2012, over half of physicians had the capability to meet Meaningful Use objectives of providing patients with clinical summaries   fter each visit (56%) and electronic copies of their health information (51%). From 2011 to 2012, physicians’ capability for secure messaging with patients increased by 40%.

Physician adoption of EHR technology to meet selected Meaningful Use objectives has increased significantly since HITECH started. In 2012, half or more of physicians had the capability to meet each of 12 Meaningful Use Core objectives.  These findings represent important national progress toward the goals of improving health and health care through the use of advanced health information technology.

Read the ONC Data Brief here.  Download the NCHS Annual EHR Survey here.