Only 2% of Hospitals Can Meet New Federal EMR Standards

As of 2009, just 2 percent of U.S. hospitals had electronic medical records systems meeting new "meaningful use" standards for federal financial incentives, according to a report in Health Affairs.

Surveying hospitals, the authors also found 11.9 percent had adopted either basic or comprehensive EMR by 2009, a modest rise from 8.7 percent in 2008. Small, public and rural hospitals were less likely to have EMR.

"These findings underscore the fact that the transition to a digital healthcare system is likely to be a long one," the authors said.

HHS recently finalized its meaningful use criteria for 2011-2012, the first two years of the three-stage incentive program. To be eligible for financial incentives, hospitals must demonstrate they meet all 14 "core" objectives and five of the ten "menu" objectives.

Read the Health Affairs report on electronic medical records.

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