Almost all U.S. hospitals couldn't meet the federal government's meaningful-use standards and qualify for subsidy payments for electronic health-record systems under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to a report published Thursday in the policy journal Health Affairs.
Most hospitals wouldn't meet EHR standards: report
As described in the seven-page article, “A Progress Report on Electronic Health Records in U.S. Hospitals,” a team of researchers experienced in measuring national EHR penetration rates the research team of analyzed data from an American Hospital Association survey that polled 3,101 nonfederal, acute-care hospitals about their health IT capabilities as of March 1, 2009.
Although the number of hospitals that had adopted either a basic or comprehensive EHR system rose slightly from 8.7% to 11.9% between 2008 and 2009, "Only 2% of U.S. hospitals reported having electronic health records that would allow them to meet the federal government's 'meaningful-use' criteria," the authors concluded. "The transition to a digital healthcare system is likely to be a long one," they added.
The research team consisted of Ashish Jha, Catherine DesRoches, Peter Kralovec and Maulik Joshi. For several years, Jha, an associate professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, and DesRoches, a survey scientist at the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Partners Health Care System, Boston, have been monitoring—and providing sobering assessments of—the meager use of information technology in healthcare settings.
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