REPORT-Community clinic EHR adoption outpacing physician office practices

"A new data chart book titled, “Results from the 2010-11 Readiness for Meaningful Use of HIT and Pa...,” released today by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, provides unique insight into the status of electronic health record (EHR) and health information technology adoption among community health centers. Derived from a nationwide survey of health centers, the results showed that 69 percent of health centers have adopted EHRs, with 45 percent of them being fully electronic at all sites. This outpaces the 2010 EHR adoption rate among office-based physicians, estimated at 51.5% by the National Center for Health Statistics. Additionally, 81 percent of health centers currently without EHRs reported that they planned to implement one within the next 12 months."    Excerpt from George Washington University press release-11/3/11

 These findings are indicative of interest in improving care processes in the community clinic setting.  Also, there may be a generational component with a slightly younger group of physicians caring for patients in community clinics.   EHR adoption in the office setting is driven by a number of factors, particulalry the state of electric medical record adoption by the hospital where the practice admits patients.  At the top of the HIT adoption pyramid are large integerated hospital health/delivery  systems and the practices affiliated with those health systems.  At the bottom are office practices; however, adoption depends on a number of practice characteristics include location (urban versus rural), number of practitioners, and as mentione above, the age of physicians.  A recent study points to the expense associated with moving from paper records to an EHR, too much data that does not translate into information, and time to learn the system taking time away from patients.

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