Canadian doc EHR adoption rates mirror U.S. rates

American physicians are not the only ones embracing electronic health records; their Canadian counterparts also are jumping on the EHR bandwagon, according to a survey released this month by the Health Council of Canada.  

The survey of 2,124 Canadian primary care physicians found that their use of EHRs has nearly doubled in six years, increasing from 23 percent to 57 percent. Their use of electronic-prescribing also has risen, from 11 percent in 2006 to 43 percent in 2012.   

However, the adoption rate varied widely across provinces--from a low point of 26 percent to a high point of 74 percent--indicating a need for improvement. The study also found that each of the six provinces with EHR adoption rates above 50 percent had implemented an incentive program to fund physicians to switch to EHRs.

"Such funding appears to be key to driving growth in the use of information technology in healthcare," the study's authors noted.

These results mirror those in the U.S., despite the radically different healthcare programs of each nation. According to a recent study in the Annals of Family Medicine, the EHR adoption rate among family physicians was 68 percent in 2011, much of which, researchers said, had been fueled by the Meaningful Use Incentive Program. However, the adoption rate varied significantly from state to state; which could have been because of the different levels of commitment by states in supporting the systems.

To learn more:
- read the Canadian report