News | October 26, 2006

Study Shows EHR Implementation Not Up to Par

In a recent study that measured the state of electronic health record (EHR) use by doctors and hospitals, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and George Washington University (GWU) estimate that one in four doctors (24.9 percent) use EHRs to improve how they deliver care to patients. However, less than one in 10 are using what experts define as a "fully operational" system that collects patient information, displays test results, allows providers to enter medical orders and prescriptions and helps doctors make treatment decisions.
"We are pitifully behind where we should be. We must find ways to get more physicians to embrace this technology if we are to make major strides in improving health care quality," says study co-author David Blumenthal, M.D., director, Institute for Health Policy, MGH/Partners. Blumenthal's team co-authored the report with researchers at GWU's Department of Health Policy and the Harvard School of Public Health. A companion article highlighting key findings of the report appears in a Web edition of the journal Health Affairs.

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