Electronic records surge continues

Nearly 72 percent of office-based doctors use them.

Almost 72 percent of office-based physicians in the United States use an electronic medical record or electronic health record, new government statistics show. Close to 40 percent use digital record systems that meet federal requirements for basic functionality.

The number of doctors with some sort of EMR/EHR is up 26 percent since last year, according to a data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of doctors who use records that qualify as basic systems rose 17 percent over last year, according to “Use and Characteristics of Electronic Health Records Among Office-based Physician Practices: United States, 2001-2012.”

Among other findings:

  • Two-thirds of office-based physicians say they plan to apply, or already have applied, for incentives that reward using electronic records in ways that meet meaningful use standards.
  • The percentage of physicians using some type of digital records varied by state, from a low of 54 percent in New Jersey to a high of 89 percent in Massachusetts.
  • When it came to using certified basic EHRs, the District of Columbia was at the bottom, at 22 percent, followed by Louisiana at 25 percent. Top honors went to Wisconsin, at 71 percent, followed by Minnesota at 67 percent.

The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, conducted by mail, is the source of data cited in the brief.