EHR use increases among California primary-care docs

A new report from the California HealthCare Foundation provides a glance at how electronic health record (EHR) use is rolling out among primary care practices of all sizes. Currently, more than half (55 percent) of primary care providers and 48 percent of medical practices in the state have indicated they are using EHR systems.

In general, the larger the practice, the more likely it uses health IT tools, noted the report, "The State of Health Information Technology in California."

At least 80 percent of practices with 51 or more physicians have adopted an EHR system, followed by 64 percent of practices with between six and 50 physicians. The numbers drop to 39 percent for practices with between two and five physicians; and 20 percent for solo practitioners.

Among hospitals, nearly 90 percent said they had already installed--or are installing--clinical decision support systems. In addition, 89 percent said they had fully implemented an electronic laboratory reporting system in at least one unit; 40 percent installed computerized provider order entry systems; and 32 percent put an electronic clinical documentation system in place.

Community clinics also saw continued growth in health IT use over the last six years, according to the report. In 2005, 3 percent of clinics reported having an EHR, but in the most recent survey, that percentage rose to 47 percent.

For more information:
- see the California HealthCare Foundation report
- see the nextgov article

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