Study finds EMRs are slow to catch on

December 1, 2006

Just about a quarter of physicians are using some form of electronic medical records, and fewer than 10% use these records as part of a comprehensive system that collects patient information, displays test results, and allows for the electronic documentation of prescriptions and medical orders.

Just about a quarter of physicians are using some form of electronic medical records, and fewer than 10% use these records as part of a comprehensive system that collects patient information, displays test results, and allows for the electronic documentation of prescriptions and medical orders. That's just a couple of the highlights from a study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and George Washington University.

According to the Washington Post (10/12/2006), the researchers also found that solo practitioners and two-physician practices are much less likely to use EMRs-a significant finding given that half of all physicians in the United States practice in these settings. While the determination of the use of EMRs in hospitals was not possible, it's estimated that up to 10% of hospitals do use computerized entry of prescription orders.

Additionally, researchers found that physicians who treat large numbers of Medicaid beneficiaries were half as likely as others to adopt EMRs, reported the electronic newsletter American Health Line (10/13/2006). Those most likely to adopt EMRs were physicians who work in cities, large practices, and large health-care facilities.