The 5 best (and worst) states for EHR adoption

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Massachusetts leads the country in EHR adoption among hospitals and physicians.

Massachusetts, along with several midwestern states, is leading the charge when it comes to EHR adoption among physicians and hospitals.

New Jersey, on the other hand, ranks dead last.

That’s according to a report released by Center for Data Innovation, which ranked all 50 states based on how each one embraces data-driven innovation. Two health IT systems—EHRs and e-prescribing—were among the 25 indicators the organization used to develop its rankings.

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Massachusetts, which also ranked first in the Center’s overall data innovation rankings, boasted EHR adoption rates of 93% among hospitals and 90% among physician practices. Wyoming, Washington, Minnesota and Indiana rounded out the top five.

Just 75% of nonfederal acute care hospitals in New Jersey adopted EHRs. But that figure was paired with an unusually low adoption rate among physicians (62%), which gave the state its last-place ranking. The four other states included in the bottom five were:

  • Rhode Island
  • Louisiana
  • Hawaii
  • Vermont

The report noted that although the federal government has devoted significant funding to widespread EHR adoption, states like Wyoming have pushed beyond the minimum requirements by offering an EHR platform to Medicaid providers at no cost. Massachusetts is part of a multistate working group for EHR interoperability.

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When it comes to e-prescribing, New York is head and shoulders above every other state, with 37.7% of controlled substances prescribed electronically. Nebraska was the closest contender, with 20.2%, and Delaware broke double-digits with 11.8%.

Last year, New York became the first state in the country to require e-prescribing for controlled substances. Earlier this year, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy signed a bill mandating e-prescribing for controlled substances beginning in 2018. Currently, the state ranks 31st with 1.9% of controlled substances prescribed electronically.