EHR adoption lagging for hospitals that don't qualify for incentive programs

EHR adoption has lagged significantly for healthcare facilities that don't qualify for subsidies through the HITECH Act's Incentive Programs, such as rehabilitation hospitals, long-term care and psychiatric facilities, among others, according to findings published in Health Affairs

Between 2009, when the HITECH Act when into effect, and 2013, EHR use in eligible acute-care hospitals skyrocketed from just more than 10 percent to nearly 60, and has only continued to climb since. For rehabilitation facilities, this number was less than 5 percent in 2009 and grew to about 20 percent in 2013, with psychiatric hospital and long-term care hospitals faring even worse.

"In the U.S., healthcare is currently delivered in silos," lead study author Daniel Walker, PhD, of The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, told Reuters in an emailed statement. "As patients move across the healthcare system, their record does not move with them — leading to poor care coordination, cost escalation, and quality and safety issues."

When surveyed about the barriers to IT adoption for those ineligible for financial help, hospital representatives identified upfront capital costs, ongoing maintenance costs, physician cooperation and lack of adequate IT staff as the primary limitations.

Additionally, the barrier in adoption also affects information sharing for hospitals ineligible for incentive programs. The trajectory of health information exchange participation for such facilities mirrors closely the adoption of EHRs, according to the paper. 

More articles on EHRs:

What the US can learn from Estonia's electronic health records 
Competing with the world: University of Utah Health Care's CIO on how hospital IT has changed 
4 recommendations for copy-and-paste in EHRs 

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