Doc use of EHRs up 24 percent

A new report issued by the National Center on Health Statistics (NCHS) found that in 2012, 72 percent of office-based physicians used electronic health records, up from 48 percent in 2009. That represents an increase of 24 percent.

EHR use ranged from 54 percent in New Jersey to 89 percent in Massachusetts, the NCHS study found.

Compared with the national average (72 percent), the percentage of physicians using any EHR system was lowest in Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana and New Jersey, according to the report, and higher in Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.

The percentage of physicians who had systems meeting the criteria for a basic system, by state and the District of Columbia, ranged from 22 percent in the District of Columbia to 71 percent in Wisconsin.

[See also: EHRs breed digital discontent for docs.]

The percentage of physicians who had systems meeting the criteria for a basic system was lower in the District of Columbia and Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, and New Jersey and higher in Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin when compared with the national average of 40 percent.

Some 40 percent of office-based physicians reported having a system that met the criteria for a basic system, up from 22 percent in 2009. The percentage of physicians with these systems ranged from 22 percent in the District of Columbia to 71 percent in Wisconsin, according to the report, according to the report.

In 2012, 66 percent of office-based physicians reported that they planned to apply, or had already had applied, for meaningful use incentives, NCHS found.

[See also: Health IT could help with medication adherence, saving billions, study finds.]

Farzad Mostashari, MD, national coordinator for health information technology, said the new report shows that the use of electronic health records in doctors’ offices is trending in the right direction, as the number who are using a system that meets meaningful use criteria has doubled.

"This increase shows that the use of EHRs to deliver better care is becoming the norm across the country," he said.

The study can be found here.