Doc adoption of EHRs continues to rise

Physician adoption of ambulatory electronic health records is on an upswing, with 69 percent of physicians surveyed owning an EHR, up from about 61 percent in 2011 and 42 percent in 2010, according to a new survey published by CapSite.

The survey, of 509,280 physicians from 950 physician groups, revealed that 43 percent of EHR-owners had successfully attested to Stage 1 of the Meaningful Use program; of those, 56 percent have received an incentive payment from the government.

However, in contrast to a recent Medscape study that found that the main driver of EHR adoption was the incentive payment, the CapSite survey found that only 13 percent of respondents had purchased an EHR to earn the payment. Thirty-nine percent did so to make their practice more efficient, while another 28 percent said that they bought one to increase the quality of healthcare.

Physician willingness to join a health information exchange also is on the rise, with 43 percent of physicians surveyed planning on joining a state, regional, hospital system or other type. Overall 40 percent said that they had no plans to do so.

Perhaps not surprisingly, a physician was much more likely to join an HIE if the physician's practice was hospital owned, with only 17 percent of such physicians saying they would not join an HIE. In contrast, 53 percent of freestanding physicians were still not interested.

These adoption rates continue to spiral upward, although the precise adoption numbers vary. Medscape's survey found that 82 percent of physicians surveyed either were using EHRs, or in the process of installing one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this past spring reported adoption rates at 55 percent.

To learn more:
- read CapSite's announcement