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CA EMR Adoption Up, But Other Health IT Use Is Behind

Posted on November 18, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

While California providers are stepping up their use of EMRs, they’re still behind on some other measures of health IT adoption, according to a new report by the California HealthCare Foundation.

First, the positives. California physicians who use EMRs grew from 37 percent in 2008 to 59 percent in 2013. The report also concluded that 50 percent of California hospitals used EMRs in 2012, compared with 13 percent in 2007, and that 65 percent of community health centers used EMRs in 2011, compared with 3 percent in 2005.

All that being said, California providers are behind when it comes to Meaningful Use. While 58 percent of them said in 2012 that they planned to participate in Meaningful Use, only 30 percent of California providers with EMRs had a system that met all of the program’s 12 objectives, notes iHealthBeat.

What’s more, California hospitals’ use of clinical support systems fell from 77 percent in 2010 to 71 percent in 2012, a pretty low number given that the national average of 97 percent use of such tools. Also, the state ranks 49th in the country for e-prescribing rates.

The researchers also note that providers seem less interested in health IT than consumers. The 57 percent of state residents who had access to their EMRs  used them to view their health records, e-mail physicians and schedule care appointments, iHealthBeat reported.

All told, the report comes as something of a surprise, given that over time, California has traditionally been at the leading edge of many healthcare industry trends. And it suggests that many California providers are missing out on increasingly well-documented opportunities to improve productivity. So let’s hope that traditionally cutting-edge providers take the nudge provided by this report seriously.

Health IT & EHR State Summaries

Posted on June 18, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m always happy to look at data. Certainly data can lie, but it can also inform if you are looking at the right data and considering the biases of the data. I applaud ONC for being as transparent as possible with the EHR incentive program data. They have an entire Health IT Dashboard for analyzing the data. I think this is a great step towards accountability for how the EHR incentive money is being spent.

ONC recently announced a set of Health IT Quick Stats and even created a widget (embedded below) that lets you download a 3 page health IT and HITECH summary for your state. I think a few states are missing from the widget and why they grouped them by area I don’t know, but there’s some interesting data in the reports.

I downloaded my home state of Nevada to see how we’re doing with Health IT and HITECH. Here are a few thoughts I had when looking at EHR use in Nevada.

I was amazed that so many REC assisted providers were live with an EHR, but less than half of those had demonstrated meaningful use. We’ll see if that changes after this years attestations.

I do have to question some of the data since it shows the overall access to view lab results electronically as 0% for Nevada. Something is wrong with their data there. They did show office based EHR adoption in Nevada at 23% (39% nationally). I’m not sure how that national EHR adoption number meshes with the $60% I’ve heard thrown around. Different sources of data.

For hospital adoption of EHRs they show Nevada at 36% EHR adoption (35% nationally). It’s nice to see Nevada ahead of the national average in something.

I’ve always told people there were about 700,000 providers in America, so I was glad to see they listed 715,984 health care providers.

Lots more data in there, but those were a few of the things that stood out for me in the Nevada Health IT and EHR report. Take a look at your state and let us know what numbers stand out for your state in the comments.