Study: Minorities, poor less likely to see docs with EHR

Adoption of electronic health records tends to be lower for physicians who treat large numbers of poor and minority patients, regardless of the setting they practice in, according to a new study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics examined studies from 2005 and 2006, accounting for 150 million patients and 500 million primary care visits, and found that uninsured African-Americans and Latinos, as well as Latinos on Medicaid, were less likely than whites with private insurance to have a doctor using EHRs. For the purposes of the study, they defined EHR adoption as the ability to order prescriptions and tests electronically, and view test results and clinical notes online.

Although practice type--private vs. community health clinic or hospital outpatient department--and location--urban vs. rural--had a greater bearing on EHR adoption, there was a correlation between EHR use and race and socioeconomic status.

For more about this study:
- read this Medical News Today article
- view the study abstract from the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved