In the NAMCS, adoption among family physicians grew to 66.4% in 2011 from 24.8% in 2005. Among physicians undergoing the ABFM's maintenance of certification, adoption increased to 67.8% in 2011 from 28% in 2005.
The study notes “how federal efforts to increase adoption of EHRs have accelerated in recent years.” It adds that the federal government's “triple aim” goals to improve population health and healthcare delivery while lowering costs “will require data sharing and exchange that transects all aspects of healthcare delivery and depend in part on widespread adoption of EHRs, particularly by office-based physicians.”
But geographic variations were identified in both data sets. Utah, at 94.9%, had the highest rate of adoption among family physicians seeking maintenance of board certification; while North Dakota had the lowest rate of adoption, 47.1%. For family physicians in the national ambulatory survey, Hawaii had the highest rate of adoption, 87.6%. North Carolina family physicians had the lowest, 44%.
The researchers wrote that there was “strong regional clustering for adoption.” They speculated that states' commitment varied in their support for health IT funding mechanisms to promote EHR adoption, prescription drug tracking and quality data reporting. Other reasons that could explain the variation included differences in market penetration of health maintenance organizations and the presence of large integrated healthcare organizations.