Recent studies conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics show that electronic health records (EHR) are becoming more prevalent in office-based physicians practices, David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology said in a statement.
Blumenthal noted that many doctors are beginning to implement EHR as part of their practice in order to improve the quality and efficiency of care, as well as reduce costs.
He said he urges all hospitals and private practices to take advantage of the many support programs that are available, such as the the 62 regional extension centers. These facilities provide medical institutions with customized assistance in designing, implementing and managing their health information technology initiatives.
The survey shows that approximately 41 percent of office-based physicians are currently planning to achieve meaningful use of EHRs.
Eligible professionals can qualify for up to $44,000 through Medicare or $63,750 through Medicaid if they can show meaningful use. Healthcare providers who implement EHR need to to show that they are using certified technology in ways that can be measured signficantly in quality and quantity, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Additionally, a study from the American Hospital Association found that 81 percent of acute care non-federal hospitals plan to achieve meaningful use of EHRs, and about 65 percent are aiming to enroll in incentive programs in 2011.