Nearly 70% of family physicians have adopted electronic health record systems, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, Healthcare IT News reports.
Researchers say that family physicians are adopting EHR systems at a much faster rate than previous data suggested (McCann, Healthcare IT News, 1/15).
For the study, researchers analyzed two sets of data, including:
According to the study, EHR adoption among family physicians has doubled since 2005. Researchers estimated that by the end of 2013, the EHR adoption rate among family physicians will exceed 80%.
Findings also show a higher EHR adoption rate among family physicians than among all office-based physicians.
The study identified geographic differences in EHR adoption rates among family physicians.
It found that family physicians in Utah had the highest EHR adoption rate in the U.S., at nearly 95%, while family physicians in North Dakota had the lowest EHR adoption rate in the country, at 47% (Healthcare IT News, 1/15).
Researchers cited several possible reasons for the geographic variability, including that:
- Some states spend more money on digitizing health records;
- Some states' EHR adoption rates might be influenced by managed care organizations and integrated health systems; and
- Some states have more large group practices and provider organizations, which could use their resources to adopt EHR systems.
The researchers wrote, "Whatever the explanation, the interstate variability could help identify areas for targeted interventions," such as "adjustments of federal funding for various" regional extension centers (Medscape