EHR Adoption

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The main objective of Health IT is to advance the quality and safety of patient care. The promise of fully acknowledge EHRs is to host a single record that includes all of a patient's health information. A record that is up to date, complete, and accurate. This will have an impact on providers to put them in an enhanced position to collaborate with their patients building good quality decisions.

Adoption of Electronic health record (EHR) requires investment of time and money, however the benefits definitely outweighs the expenses. To help providers make the transition, financial incentives are available.

Providers who use EHRs has reported substantial improvements in their ability to make healthier decisions with more comprehensive information.

The benefits of EHR adoption will allow health care providers the following advantages:

• An avenue to share information with patients and their family caregivers. Patients and their families can fully participate in decisions about their health care. • Comprehensive and accurate information about a patient's health. This enables providers to give the best possible care, whether during a routine office visit or in a medical emergency, by providing the information they need to evaluate a patient's current condition in the context of the patient's health history and other treatments. • The capability to quickly offer care. In a crisis, EHRs offer immediate access to information about a patient's medical history, allergies, and medications. This can enable providers to make decisions faster, as opposed to waiting for information from test results. • The ability to better synchronize the care they offer. This is particularly important if a patient has a serious or chronic medical condition, such as diabetes. • EHRs will be able to flag potentially unsafe drug interactions (to assist prescribing doctors explore alternatives before a dilemma occurs), validate medications and dosages (to guarantee that pharmacists distribute the precise drug), and diminish the need for potentially unsafe tests and procedures. Adoption of EHR: Facts and Figures • Based on a recent study by the National Center for Health Statistics, over two-thirds (71%) of EHR adopters stated that they would purchase their EHR system again and nearly one-half of physicians currently without an EHR system plan to purchase or use one already purchased within a year.2 • Percent distribution of electronic health record satisfaction among office-based physicians2 38% very satisfied, 47% somewhat satisfied, 5% very dissatisfied and 10% somewhat dissatisfied.

Public Health Sector

Exploration of factors affecting EHR adoption and usage in the public sector (especially among Local Health Departments (LDHs)) is needed to accelerate adoption. (See this article review regarding promotion of interoperability and improved delivery of care through EHR adoption by LDHs.

References: 1. Levingston, S. A. (2012). Opportunities in physician electronic health records: A road map for vendors. Bloomberg Government. 2. Jamoom E, Beatty P, Bercovitz A, et al. (2012) Physician adoption of electronic health record systems: United States, 2011. NCHS data brief, no 98. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

Submitted by Sharon Codner