National Center for Health Statistics: Physicians’ Use of Electronic Medical Records in 2010

This preliminary data report from the National Center for Health Statistics reports that the use of some type of electronic medical record by office-based physicians just passed the 50% threshold during 2010 (50.7%).  The data was collected through the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, which surveys a representative sampling of physician office practices based on patient visits.  In 2010, oversampling was conducted to ensure sufficient responses for state-level data on the use of electronic medical record and electronic health record systems.

The preliminary data from 2010 survey responses show that, nationwide, 10.1% of physician practices have a full electronic health record  with multiple functionalities and another 24.9% have an electronic medical record with basic functions.

At the state level, physician office practices in Minnesota (80.2%), Massachusetts (77.3%) and Wisconsin (75.4%) had the highest rates of use of any electronic medical record system, while physicians in Kentucky (38.1%), Florida (39.4%) and Louisiana (39.1%) had the lowest.   Utah (51.5%), Oregon (49.9%) and MInnesota (49.2%) has the highest rates of statewide use of basic electronic medical records by physician office practices while Maryland (12.5%), Connecticut (15.0%) and Kentucky (15.8%) had the lowest.   This wide variation in use of health information technologies among states will pose particular challenges for some regional extension centers assisting physicians and other health care providers qualify for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services incentive payments for the “meaningful use of certified electronic health records.”  

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