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August 31, 2010

US Hospitals Slow to Adopt Electronic Health Records

The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) in US hospitals is growing at a very slow rate, according to a study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health. Researchers found that 8.7% US hospitals were using EHRs in 2008, and this only rose to 11.9% in 2009. Only

By cms admin

The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) in US hospitals is growing at a very slow rate, according to a study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Researchers found that 8.7% US hospitals were using EHRs in 2008, and this only rose to 11.9% in 2009.

Only 2% of hospitals met the “federal meaningful use” standard, which would make them eligible for financial incentives from the government.

Hospitals located in the smaller and rural areas were far behind the adoption of EHRs than their larger, private and urban coutnerparts.

The researchers collected data from a survey by the American Hospital Association, which had polled 4,493 acute-care, non-federal hospitals about their health information technology efforts.

Ashish Jha, lead study author, said paper-based medical records led to hundreds of thousands of errors each year in US hospitals and probably contributed to tens of thousands of deaths.

“There is overwhelming evidence that EHRs can help, yet the expense and the disruption that implementing these systems can cause has forced many hospitals to move slowly,” Jha said.

The study has been published in Health Affairs.

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