100 Percent of Primary Care Doctors in Denmark Use Electronic Medical Records, Study Finds

eAlert b5a30615-7fef-4e54-8e42-ba6d50a8fe28

<p>All primary care doctors in Denmark use electronic medical records and 98 percent have the ability to electronically manage patient care—including ordering prescriptions, drafting notes about patient visits, and sending appointment reminders. In addition, almost all medical communication between primary care doctors, specialists, and hospitals is electronic, according to a new Commonwealth Fund <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2010/mar/widespread-adoption-information-technology-primary-care">profile</a> of the Danish health care system. <br /><br />Ramping up the use of health information technology (HIT) tools like electronic medical records (EMRs) in the United States, where currently only 46 percent of physicians use EMRs, is an important part of the recent stimulus bill and the health care reform currently being debated on Capitol Hill. According to Denis Protti and Ib Johansen, authors of the report, much could be learned from the Danish system, where HIT use among primary care doctors soared from 15 percent in the early 1990s to more than 90 percent by the year 2000. </p>
<br />"Denmark continues to work vigorously toward an efficient, patient-centered health care system and has strategically employed health information technology to help achieve that goal," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "The Commonwealth Fund's international health care surveys have consistently shown us that the United States lags behind when it comes to health information technology. However, the promotion of health information technology in the recent stimulus bill and current health reform bills are an encouraging sign. These efforts, combined with some of the best ideas from Denmark's success—a coherent national policy, financial incentives to adopt technologies, and technical support for providers—could go a long way toward moving this country to a high performance health care system." <br /><br /></p>