Even as providers’ adoption of electronic health records passed a major milestones this year with 50 percent using them, the distribution of those providers across the country is patchy. And this infographic from Health Biz Decoded illustrates that well.
Wisconsin leads the country with EHR adoption of more than 70 percent, according to the infographic. Initiatives by its department of health such as Wisconsin Relay of Electronic Data or WIRED for Health have helped boost the number of office-based physicians using EHR systems. It also boasts one of the highest e-prescribing rates in the US.
Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid provided financial incentives to encourage physicians to demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records, only one in 10 had satisfied those requirements as of early 2012. To demonstrate meaningful use, physicians have to meet 19 of 24 objectives such as tracking patients’ medications, sharing lab test results and producing summaries of patients’ office visits.
Another trend that the map reflects, albeit imperfectly: EHR adoption has lagged in rural communities that lack the resources to implement these systems.
The long term goal of EHR adoption is to help providers and hospitals exchange patient information to reduce medical errors. Programs like The Direct Project which takes a streamlined approach to securely sharing patient information beyond the doctor’s office are designed to achieve some of those goals.
E-prescribing adoption — allowing healthcare professionals to transmit prescription orders to pharmacies to minimize medication errors — is more widespread. Minnesota leads the US for e-prescribing. Several states are reviewing legislation that could boost these numbers.
[Photo credit: illustrated map of the USA from BigStock Photos]