Given the substantial federal financial incentives soon to be available to providers who make “meaningful use” of electronic health records, tracking the progress of this health care technology conversion is a policy priority. Using a recent survey of U.S. hospitals, we found that the share of hospitals that had adopted either basic or comprehensive electronic records has risen modestly, from 8.7 percent in 2008 to 11.9 percent in 2009. Small, public, and rural hospitals were less likely to embrace electronic records than their larger, private, and urban counterparts. Only 2 percent of U.S. hospitals reported having electronic health records that would allow them to meet the federal government’s “meaningful use” criteria. These findings underscore the fact that the transition to a digital health care system is likely to be a long one.
Jha AK, DesRoches CM, Kralovec PD, Joshi MS. A Progress Report On Electronic Health Records In U.S. Hospitals. Health Affairs. 2010 Oct;29(10):1951-1957.