Posted: 05 Aug 2013 04:26 PM PDT
It’s always good to know who’s behind a study that you’re reading. In this case, it is a study by ONC and they are putting National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari’s name on it along with ONC researchers. In one respect, we know that ONC has a bias towards use of health IT. On the other hand they are also the organization with the most information on what’s happening with EHR and exchange of healthcare data. So, take those biases and check out some of the highlights of the study:
· 58 percent of hospitals exchanged data with providers outside their organization in 2012 and hospitals’ exchanges with other hospitals outside their organization more than doubled during the study period.
· Hospitals with basic EHR systems and participating in HIOs (health information organizations) had the highest rates of hospital exchange activity in 2012, regardless of the organizational affiliation of the provider exchanging data or the type of clinical information exchanged.
· The proportion of hospitals that adopted at least a basic EHR and participated in an HIO grew more than five-fold from 2008 to 2012.
· Between 2008 and 2012, there were significant increases in the percent of hospitals exchanging radiology reports, laboratory results, clinical care summaries, and medication lists with hospitals and providers outside of their organization.
· 84 percent of hospitals that adopted an EHR and participated in a regional HIO exchanged information with providers outside their organization.
Why are EMRs failing ?
Even doctors who have purchased and successfully implemented electronic health records (EHRs) do not always know what they’re buying until the system is up and running. Sound familiar ? It is what Nancy Pelosi told us about the Affordable Care Act. “You won’t know what is in it until it passes” It reminds me of the “Cracker Jack” box, with the surprise inside. The problem:
ONC director Farzad Mostashari made that point to a room full of chuckles on Wednesday while giving the closing keynote address at the Government Health IT Conference.
The problem: While there are nearly 750 EHR products certified for meaningful use stage 1, adequate apples-to-apples comparisons of features and prices do not exist today.
In 2012 nearly six in ten hospitals actively exchanged electronic health information with providers and hospitals outside their organization, an increase of 41 percent since 2008. EHR adoption and HIO participation were associated with significantly greater hospital exchange activity, but exchanges with providers outside the organization and exchanges of clinical care summaries and medication lists remained limited.