Doctors still slow to leverage EMRs

Despite all of the publicity--and strong hints from federal agencies--doctors continue to resist using electronic medical records in their practice, according to a study released yesterday. True, one in four doctors use medical records in their practice, and that number should grow steadily over the next year or two, according to researchers with the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. However, they found that only one in ten physicians are actually leveraging EMRs effectively, creating higher-value systems that merge patient data collection with test records, medical order information and decision support. However, with President Bush pushing for all Americans to have an EMR by 2014, the pressure is on for physicians to adopt this technology, so even the smaller, less affluent practices are likely to get with the program soon. Deals like the one offered by the Massachusetts Medical Association--which is negotiating discounts on EMR technology for its members--may help the process along.

Find out more about physician EMR use:
- read this piece in The Washington Post