EHR use has increased among physician practices

Use of electronic health record software is slowly but surely rising in physicians' offices across the U.S. In particular, more mid-sized and large practices are implementing EHR systems, according to a recent survey by healthcare marketing solutions firm SK&A.

Overall, adoption of such software is up nearly 2 percent since last October, with 40.4 percent of respondents indicating in July that they now are using an EHR. In October, that number was 38.7 percent.

Specifically, offices with between three and five physicians saw the biggest increase, percentage wise, in terms of EHR use: Today, 51 percent of such facilities are using EHR systems, while in October, that number was 47 percent. Sites with only one doctor increased usage from 29 percent in October to 30.8 percent in July, while sites with 26 or more increased EHR usage from 72.8 percent to 75.5 percent.

More than 237,000 physician sites were surveyed, according to SK&A, which was awarded a contract in February from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to measure adoption rates and planned EHR usage. Adaptive Management Strategies (AMS), a subcontractor used by SK&A, also helped with the survey, which determined a majority of sites owned by hospitals and health systems to be EHR users: 60.4 percent of hospital-owned sites have currently adopted the technology, up more than 5.5 percent since October. More than 63 percent of health system-owned sites have implemented an EHR system.

AMS CEO Jon Jennett called the survey efforts "central to the plan for the government's promotion of the use of information technology," in a February announcement.

To learn more:
- download the report
- read this SK&A announcement from February