Small, rural hospitals still lagging significantly on EHR adoption

Numbers show increased EHR adoption should be no surprise at this point. CMS' EHR Incentive Programs, among other factors, have bolstered implementation of the technology by 75 percent since 2008, and more than 40 percent of those hospitals report using EHRs to meet meaningful use stage two criteria. However, according to a web-first study from Health Affairs, many small and rural hospitals are lagging far behind in adoption.

The data, taken from the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey IT Supplement which is sent to the CEO of every U.S. hospital, show nationwide EHR adoption rose by 59 percent in 2014 from the previous year. The findings suggest nationwide EHR adoption is within reach, but will require policies and strategies to aid small and rural hospitals in addressing the financial and logistical challenges that prevent them from adopting the technology, according to the authors.

Additionally, among hospitals without a basic EHR system, physician notes was the function most often not yet adopted.

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