Finds U.S. Hospitals Extremely Slow to Adopt Electronic Health Records.

March 27, 2009

policy, Technology

There is broad consensus that electronic health records (EHR) have the potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare providers. Yet, to date, there has been no reliable estimate of the prevalence of EHR use among U.S. hospitals. In a new study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Massachusetts General Hospital and George Washington University found that less than 2% of surveyed hospitals had implemented comprehensive EHR; further, less than 8% had basic EHR in place. It is the first nationally representative study of the prevalence of EHR in hospitals. Comment: Like other policy issues the adage “Follow the money” applies. Insurance companies reimburse billing costs, but little reimbursement is provided to improve medical records, yet almost all other developed countries have integrated record medical systems and better health outcomes than the US.