ONC to Congress: EHR adoption continues to grow

The nation has enjoyed "steady increases" in the adoption of electronic health record systems and key functionalities related to the Meaningful Use criteria, but some barriers to adoption remain, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's annual report to Congress.

The 82-page report outlines the changes made in EHR adoption and Meaningful Use attainment since last year's report. ONC also lists the activities and support that it and others, such as the regional extension centers, are engaged in to facilitate EHR adoption.   

The report also acknowledges barriers to EHR adoption, such as the cost, as well as problems with interoperability and the efforts that ONC is making to overcome these challenges. The report includes related issues, such as progress in electronic prescribing and EHR adoption among providers ineligible for the Meaningful Use program.

ONC is required by the HITECH Act to submit reports to Congress annually.

"As both public and private payers take concrete steps to change the incentives for paying providers, health IT can provide the infrastructure and the data analytics necessary to improved care coordination, better quality, and lower costs," the report states. "Continued adoption of EHRs and health IT can enable the transformation of health care delivery in order to reduce health care costs and improve the well-being of Americans."

The government has come under fire in recent months regarding the effectiveness of the Meaningful Use program, with some members of Congress suggesting that it be "rebooted," and others calling for incentive payments to be frozen.

To learn more:
- read the report (.pdf)