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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More than half of US ambulatory physicians use an EMR in 2010

W00T! My glass is more than half full today.

Early results from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NACMS) done every year by the CDC project that more than 50% of office based physicians have some form of EMR or EHR according to recent publication by the National Center for Health Statistics.   Three states have better than 75% penetration according to the data:
  • Minnesota at 80.2%
  • Massachussets at 77.3% (I live here)
  • Wisconsin at 75.4%
Even the bottom three states have better than 35% penetration, including:
  • Kentucky at 38.1%
  • Lousiana at 39.1%
  • Florida at 39.4% (I used to live here)
The NAMCS survey samples non-federal office-based physicians, and does not include radiologists, anesthesiologists and pathologists.

The report goes on to say that more than 10% of providers on average have a fully functional EHR (as defined by a 2008 RWJ report).  The NAMCS definition of a fully functional EHR differs significantly from what would qualify an elligible provider for Meaningful Use, but are pretty close.  A table included in the report shows some of the differences, and you can also download the survey instrument (see question 18).

As a final caveat, this report is based on preliminary survey returns.  Even so, its a good way to end the year.

P.S.  I'll have to reread the RWJ report.  It needs to be added to my history of meaningful use with regard to defining a fully functional EHR.