International Survey: Electronic Medical Record Use Improves Among U.S. Primary Care Doctors, But Affordability of Care and Administrative Burdens Remain Concerns

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<p>More than two-thirds of U.S. primary care physicians were using electronic medical records in 2012, a substantial increase from 2009, when less than half had adopted the technology, a new <a href="/publications/journal-article/2012/nov/survey-primary-care-doctors-ten-countries-shows-progress-use">Commonwealth Fund survey</a> finds.</p><p>But results from the Fund's latest International Health Policy Survey, published today by <em>Health Affairs,</em> also depict the United States as an outlier among industrialized countries when it comes to affordability of health care: 59 percent of U.S. primary care physicians reported that their patients often cannot afford care, compared with between 4 percent and 25 percent of physicians in Norway, the U.K., Switzerland, Germany, and Australia. Moreover, over half of U.S. doctors said insurers’ restrictions on their care decisions create major time concerns—by far the highest rate in the 10-country survey. U.S. physicians also were the most negative about the health system overall, with only 15 percent agreeing it works well. </p>
<p>In all countries, communication and care coordination are major challenges. For example, only a minority of primary care doctors in each nation reported always receiving timely information from specialists to whom they referred their patients. Visit to read more about the survey and to view our <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=EFFC055DE9FD47E18597CDE355E633A0&_z=z">infographics</a>, which shows how countries compare on communication and care coordination problems and use of electronic medical records. </p>