A recent study conducted by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Mathematica Policy Research, and Harvard School of Public Health has found that there has been a significant increase in implementation of electronic health records (EHR)- the proportion of hospitals using basic EHRs has tripled since 2010.
According to the study, roughly 4 out of 10 physicians reported adopting an EHR in 2012. Additionally, slightly fewer reported working toward stage one of “Meaningful Use”. Larger institutions, like UMHS, were more likely to make the change, most likely because they have more resources to implement costly changes. Although these numbers are still relatively small, it represents a huge year of EHR implementation, and the beginning of even more IT change in the healthcare field.
The HITECH Act played a large part in the increase because of the implementation incentives offered to qualified professionals or healthcare groups implementing EHRs before 2014. It is likely that there will be even greater rates of implementation as the deadline looms and the penalties for non-adopters start in 2015.
There are more changes we can anticipate as implementers start transitioning from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. After meeting Stage 1 requirements for 90 days in the first year and a full second year, an implementer is eligible to work toward Meaningful Use Stage 2. Stage 2 typically entails building upon steps taken in Stage 1, such as decreasing timelines for certain tasks, increasing percentages of use or increasing electronic communications. Since there was a substantial increase of adoption in 2012, there will likely be an increase in Stage 2 implementation in 2014.
For more information about “Meaningful Use” and the stages, click here: http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/Stage1vsStage2CompTablesforEP.pdf