Most hospitals to adopt medical records

Jan. 13, 2011 at 7:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Eighty-one percent of U.S. hospitals and 41 percent of physicians say they want to use federal funds to use electronic health records, surveys indicate.

The surveys were commissioned by Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and carried out in the course of regular annual surveillance by the American Hospital Association and the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Dr. David Blumenthal of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology says the survey numbers represent a reversal of the low interest in recent years in electronic medical records adoption -- attributed mainly to the cost and time needed to set up a health technology system. If there are high rates of adoption, about $27 billion in incentive payments would be allocated during a 10-year period, Blumenthal says.

Of the hospitals that indicate they will take advantage of the program, 65 percent say they will enroll during stage 1 of the incentive programs in 2011-2012.

The NCHS survey indicates 41 percent of office-based physicians say they plan to take advantage of the incentive payments and about one-third say they will enroll during Stage 1. Payment to doctors would be about $44,000 to $63,750 each.

Technical support is being offered to providers as they switch from paper records to electronic medical records, Blumenthal says.

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