Survey: Up to 96 Percent of US Hospitals have Certified Electronic Health Records

Electronic Health RecordsThe results of a recently published survey show that nearly 100 percent of hospitals in the U.S. have certified EHR technology. The survey was released by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) at its 2016 annual meeting. The benefits of having a fully functioning, modern EHR system integrated with medical transcription services are now widely recognized. The blended approach enhances the delivery of patient care, improves physician productivity, and increases return on investment.

The survey found that:

  • 96 percent of hospitals had certified EHR technology compared with 72 percent in 2011
  • 84 percent of non-federal acute-care hospitals use basic electronic health records (EHR) now compared to 9 percent in 2008; certified EHR usage has risen from72 percent in 2011 to 96 percent today.
  • Small, rural and critical access hospitals continue to lag in the adoption of health IT, though basic EHR adoption rose by 14 percent since 2014 in small, rural hospitals and by 18 percent in critical access hospitals.
  • EHR adoption rates are significantly lower in psychiatric and children’s hospitals compared to general medicine hospitals, where EHR adoption rates was 84 percent in 2015 in contrast to 55 percent at children’s hospitals.
  • Interoperability of non-federal acute-care hospitals has increased: the rate at which radiology reports, care summaries and lab results are exchanged has doubled since 2008, from 41 percent to 82 percent in 2015.

Outsourcing Medical Transcription Promotes Meaningful EHR Adoption

While electronic documentation offers many benefits, it also poses significant challenges for physicians. These include:

  • The use of the cut-and-paste function while entering information in new records can lead to errors and increase audit risks.
  • When physicians do the typing, they tend provide less information than if they dictated and a medical transcription service company transcribed the report.
  • Rather than diagnoses, it is symptoms that get documented when the physician enters data in the electronic medical record.
  • Physicians find it difficult to find the correct diagnosis from the given pick-list.

Even EMR with speech recognition technology cannot ensure accurate medical records. Fortunately, the medical transcriptionists in a professional medical transcription service companies have a wide variety of skills that current speech recognition technology lacks. That’s why blending medical transcription services with the digitized patient records is crucial for meaningful EHR adoption.