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Despite Substantial Progress In EHR Adoption Health Information Exchange And Patient Engagement Remain Low In Office Settings

Author: Michael F. Furukawa, Jennifer King, Vaishali Patel, Chun-Ju Hsiao, Julia Adler-Milstein, Ashish K. Jha
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The United States is making substantial investments to accelerate the adoption and use of interoperable electronic health record (EHR) systems. Using data from the 2009–13 Electronic Health Records Survey, we found that EHR adoption continues to grow: In 2013, 78 percent of office-based physicians had adopted some type of EHR, and 48 percent had the capabilities required for a basic EHR system. However, we also found persistent gaps in EHR adoption, with physicians in solo practices and non–primary care specialties lagging behind others. Physicians’ electronic health information exchange with other providers was limited, with only 14 percent sharing data with providers outside their organization. Finally, we found that 30 percent of physicians routinely used capabilities for secure messaging with patients, and 24 percent routinely provided patients with the ability to view online, download, or transmit their health record. These findings suggest that although EHR adoption continues to grow, policies to support health information exchange and patient engagement will require ongoing attention.

The United States is making substantial investments to accelerate the adoption and use of interoperable electronic health record (EHR) systems. Using data from the 2009–13 Electronic Health Records Survey, we found that EHR adoption continues to grow: In 2013, 78 percent of office-based physicians had adopted some type of EHR, and 48 percent had the capabilities required for a basic EHR system. However, we also found persistent gaps in EHR adoption, with physicians in solo practices and non–primary care specialties lagging behind others. Physicians’ electronic health information exchange with other providers was limited, with only 14 percent sharing data with providers outside their organization. Finally, we found that 30 percent of physicians routinely used capabilities for secure messaging with patients, and 24 percent routinely provided patients with the ability to view online, download, or transmit their health record. These findings suggest that although EHR adoption continues to grow, policies to support health information exchange and patient engagement will require ongoing attention.

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