side note: I knew that most small practices didn’t have electronic medical records in place, but only 1 in 10 hospitals? I’m not shocked, but I was slightly surprised. We have a long way to go to make sure we meet the needs of future generations….especially when we see more and more people moving all over the country. Will the President’s plan work? Will Walmart be able to push their
cheap, inexpensive solution on physicians? And will they bite?
By Julie Steenhuysen
* Less than 2 percent have comprehensive systems
* Cost biggest barrier to adoption, hospitals say
* Urban hospitals more likely to be have IT records
CHICAGO, March 25 (Reuters) – Less than 2 percent of U.S. hospitals have adopted fully functional electronic medical records, with most citing cost as the biggest barrier, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
“The data collectively show we are at a very early stage in adoption, a very low stage compared to other countries,” said Harvard’s Dr. David Blumenthal, who last week was tapped to lead President Barack Obama’s $19 billion push to increase the use of information technology in healthcare.
Obama has made electronic medical records a central piece of his plan to cut costs out of a U.S. healthcare system that consistently ranks lower in quality measures than other rich countries.
Blumenthal said the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, clearly shows the United States has room to improve. He said financial incentives in the economic stimulus bill should help, given that most hospitals reporting that cost as their biggest stumbling block.
The study by Blumenthal, Dr. Ashish Jha of the Harvard School of Public Health, and others, is based on data collected in 2008 from nearly 3,000 hospitals.
It was designed to get a baseline reading on how widely U.S. hospitals have adopted electronic medical records, which promise to reduce medical errors and improve health quality.
“Right now, very few hospitals in America have a comprehensive electronic health record,” Jha told the briefing. “Only about 1 in 10 meet the definition of a basic electronic health record.” Continue reading