Less than 3 percent of children's hospitals have 'comprehensive' EHRs

Even as HIMSS Analytics was announcing this week that Children's Hospital Boston had received an award for achieving Stage 7--the highest level--on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model, a scientific study from the very same hospital came out showing just how far ahead of its peers Children's Hospital really is.

Research published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine indicates that the vast majority of pediatric hospitals in the U.S. "lack the minimum functionalities needed for a basic EHR." Just 2.8 percent of the 108 children's hospitals responding to a survey led by Mari M. Nakamura of Children's Hospital Boston have what could be considered a "comprehensive" EHR. Another 17.9 percent have "basic" EHRs.

Only 15.7 percent of respondents said they exchange health information electronically, while 34.3 percent have "comprehensive implementations" of CPOE for medications, with the majority lacking "many forms" of clinical decision support.

Not surprisingly, cost is the most common reason why EHRs are so scarce in children's hospitals. "The two most common barriers to EHR adoption identified by children's hospitals were inadequate capital for purchase and maintenance cost," the study says. "Correspondingly, the most frequently cited facilitators were reimbursement for EHR use and financial incentives for implementation."

The results actually suggest children's hospitals outstrip adult hospitals when it comes to EHR adoption, but the researchers say nearly three-fourths of respondents were major teaching hospitals, which tend to have more advanced IT than community hospitals. Also, they did not attempt to determine whether the EHRs were effective in improving care or reducing costs.

For more:
- check out this Medscape Medical News story (reg. req.)
- read the study abstract in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine
- see this HIMSS Analytics press release, as posted on EMR Daily News