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Monday, August 11, 2014

Are we making progress?

From ONC:

From FierceHealthIT:
"ONC has adopted the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' definition of interoperability."
From IEEE:
interoperability: Ability of a system or a product to work with other systems or products without special effort on the part of the customer. Interoperability is made possible by the implementation of standards.
Like, uh, starting with a data dictionary?
Health Affairs Web Firsts: Two Studies Find Mixed Results On EHR Adoption
August 11th, 2014 by Tracy Gnadinger

Since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was enacted in 2009, Health Affairs has published many articles about the promise of health information technology and the challenges of promoting broad adoption and “meaningful use.”

Last week, on August 7, the journal released two new Web First studies, “More Than Half Of US Hospitals Have At Least A Basic EHR, But Stage 2 Criteria Remain Challenging For Most” and “Despite Substantial Progress In EHR Adoption, Health Information Exchange And Patient Engagement Remain Low In Office Settings.” These studies focus on the latest trends in health information technology adoption among U.S. physicians and hospitals. Both studies, which will also appear in the September issue of Health Affairs, show that while basic electronic health record (EHR) adoption plans have moved forward, more significant implementation remains a daunting challenge for many providers and institutions...

Physician EHR Use Rises, But Patient Engagement, Information Exchange Still Low
In their Health Affairs study last year, Michael Furukawa and coauthors found that the proportion of physicians using at least a “basic” electronic health record (EHR) system increased from 25 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2012. To determine if that trend continued, Furukawa and his team reviewed data from the 2009–13 Electronic Health Records Survey and the 2009 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Furukawa, previously with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, is now with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

For 2013, there was significant improvement over the previous year: 78 percent of office-based physicians had adopted some type of EHR, and 48 percent had the capabilities required for a basic EHR system, Furukawa and his colleagues report in an August 7 Health Affairs Web First study. There were continuing differences in adoption rates; for example, 53.3 percent of primary care physicians showed basic EHR adoption, compared to 42.9 percent of specialists. The largest basic EHR adoption rate difference was by practice size and ownership: Physicians in practices with six or more were roughly twice as likely to use EHRs compared to smaller or solo practitioners.

Routine use of computerized capability for patient engagement was low in 2013. Only one-quarter of physicians routinely enabled patients to view, download, or transmit their health record, and patient use of patient portals has been relatively low. In addition, only 14 percent of physicians shared electronic health information with providers outside their organization.

More to come...

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