Most California Doctors Using Electronic Health Records, Report Finds

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About 55% of primary care physicians in California use electronic health record systems, according to a report from the California HealthCare Foundation, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 5/10). CHCF publishes California Healthline.

The report used information from 65,388 physician practices to provide an overview of health information technology adoption and use statewide (CMIO, 5/10). Researchers also relied on data from the American Hospital Association, Harris Interactive, HIMSS Analytics and CHCF-funded research.

Medical Practices

According to the report, 48% of medical practices in California have implemented an EHR system. The report also found that:

  • 80% of practices with 51 or more physicians have adopted an EHR system;
  • 64% of practices with between six and 50 physicians have adopted an EHR system;
  • 39% of practices with between two and five physicians have adopted an EHR system; and
  • 20% of solo practitioners have adopted an EHR system.

Hospitals

The study also looked at health IT use in California hospitals and found that:

  • Nearly 90% of hospitals have already installed or are installing clinical decision support systems;
  • 89% have fully implemented an electronic laboratory reporting system in at least one unit;
  • 40% have implemented computerized provider order entry systems; and
  • 32% have an electronic clinical documentation system in place (Modern Healthcare, 5/10).

Community Clinics

Researchers also noted that health IT use in community clinics has increased dramatically in recent years.

Forty-seven percent of clinics responding to the latest survey reported having an EHR system in place, up from 3% of clinics that reported having an EHR system in 2005 (CMIO, 5/10).

Projections

Researchers predicted that health IT adoption would continue to grow in California as more federal incentive funds become available.

The report concluded that federal financial support is "a critical factor in transitioning the California health care system from the early stages of [health IT] adoption to a phase in which technology is effectively and routinely leveraged to create a safer and more efficient care delivery system" (Pulley, "Health IT Update," NextGov, 5/10).

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