Investment in electronic medical records is increasing

Article

More and more health-care organizations and groups are allocating funds to implement electronic medical records. According to the 2003 Modern Physician/PricewaterhouseCoopers survey on health-care information technology, more than 41% of responding organizations made some investment in EMRs—up from 31% from a year earlier—and 80% say they plan to invest in this technology by 2005.

Breaking the data down by type of organization, the survey found that adoption of EMRs is more common in hospitals than in independent practice. Nearly two thirds of hospital respondents (61.4%) say their institutions invested in EMRs, while half (50%) of physicians surveyed from medical groups affiliated with nonhospital companies and more than a third (36.7%) of those from independent group practices did so.

But are physicians using the technology? The survey, the results of which were reported in Modern Physician (11/1/03), found that about half of the responding organizations have physicians who use computers for patient records—either in their own practices or in the hospitals where they have privileges. That figure is nearly double the 2001 rate of 27.3%.

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