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Survey: Electronic Medical Records Pass The Halfway Mark

I feel way behind on our coverage of Electronic Medical Records — but hey, everyone's behind on EMRs, right? Or at least feeling that way? Anyway, I was perusing the Massachusetts Medical Society's excellent online EMR newsletter, the ARRA Advisor here, and noticed a landmark number: According to a new survey by a nonprofit called CompTIA, more than half of the country's medical providers have now switched to either full or partial EMR.

Leon Barzin of the MMS created this colorful pie chart, and this from the CompTIA Website:

According to the CompTIA study, 34 percent of healthcare providers report using a comprehensive EMR system, while 16 percent say they’re using a partial system. The remaining segments are either evaluating their options (29 percent) or have not yet started the process (20 percent).
Among healthcare practices with an EMR/EHR implementation, satisfaction rates are generally high, though there is room for improvement. Doctors want systems that are faster, easier to use, have better interoperability and cost less. The desire for mobility and ease of use is another factor that’s driving many IT investment decisions. Roughly one in four doctors and dentists say they plan to purchase a tablet PC for their practice over the next 12 months, putting this product near the top of their shopping lists.

Of course, Massachusetts is living up to its health-care-leader habits on EMRs as well: The Mass. Medical Society reports that we're already at 59 percent. (Though that varies a great deal by geography; Leon Barzin estimates that West of Worcester, the rate is closer to 10-15%.)

This program aired on November 5, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth blog.

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