Adoption of electronic health-record systems remains higher among large physician groups and hospitals than among smaller ones, according to two studies published in the journal Health Affairs.
In the first study, government researchers, using funding from HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, examined data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2002 through 2011. The survey for five years asked whether providers used "any EHR" but in 2007 began asking questions about specific EHR functions to determine whether providers were using a so-called basic EHR.
By 2011, 24.2% of physicians in solo or two-physician practices had adopted a basic EHR, compared with 37.1% of groups of three to nine physicians and 60% of physicians in groups of 10 or more.
Rural physicians trailed their urban counterparts in EHR adoption as well, with 34.2% of physicians outside of metropolitan statistical areas having basic EHRs in 2011, while 39.4% in metropolitan areas did. Also, specialists lagged behind primary-care physicians in EHR adoption, and the gap for adoption of a basic EHR widened since 2007. Specialists, according to the researchers, had basic EHR adoption rates of 12.4% in 2007 and 30.9% by 2011. Primary-care physicians, meanwhile, had basic EHR adoption rates of 17.1% in 2007 and 40.2% in 2011.