More Physicians Using Advanced EHR Systems, ONC Analysis Finds
More office-based physicians are using electronic health record systems that have the higher-level functionality necessary to meet the meaningful use program's requirements, according to an analysis from the Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Modern Healthcare reports.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
For the analysis, three researchers from ONC's Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation and Modeling examined data from the annual national EHR survey conducted by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
According to ONC's analysis, 73% of surveyed physicians said that their EHR system was capable of meeting the meaningful use program's electronic prescribing requirement. ONC researchers said the finding suggests an expansion in EHR capabilities since 2009, when only one-third of surveyed physicians said that their EHR system allowed for electronic prescribing.
The ONC analysis also noted that in 2012:
- 68% of surveyed physicians said that their EHR system could meet the meaningful use program requirement on maintaining medication allergy lists;
- 56% said that their EHR system could meet the meaningful use program requirement to provide patients with a copy of their clinical summary; and
- 50% said that their EHR system could meet the meaningful use program requirement related to clinical-decision support functionality (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 12/12).
The ONC researchers concluded that since the passage of the stimulus package, more physicians have adopted EHR technology capable of meeting meaningful use program requirements. They added that their analysis shows "important national progress toward the goals of improving health and health care through the use of advanced health information technology" (ONC analysis, December 2012).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.