Physician Use of Health IT: A Progress Report

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<p>A new <a href="/publications/journal-article/2014/jan/where-are-we-diffusion-curve-trends-and-drivers-primary-care">Commonwealth Fund study</a> confirms that more U.S. physician practices are embracing health information technology (HIT) these days. Between 2009 and 2012, adoption of electronic medical records by primary care physicians grew by half, from 46 percent to 69 percent. Moreover, a majority of physicians are now using core HIT functions such as e-prescribing, electronic ordering of labs, and certain types of clinical decision support. </p><p>But there are gaps in adoption, say the Fund's Anne-Marie J. Audet, M.D., David Squires, and Michelle M. Doty. Writing in a special HIT issue of <em>Health Services Research</em> edited by Weill Cornell Medical College's Rainu Kaushal, M.D., and The Commonwealth Fund's David Blumenthal, M.D., the researchers report that only a third of physicians use health information exchange and offer patients access to data. And the "digital divide" between large and small physician practices persists, with HIT adoption among solo practices lagging practices with 20 or more physicians.</p>
<p>The study also points to ways of closing this gap: for example, rates of HIT adoption were found to be higher among smaller practices that share resources and among physicians who can take advantage of financial incentives.</p>
<p>Read more about physician use of health IT on <a href="/publications/journal-article/2014/jan/where-are-we-diffusion-curve-trends-and-drivers-primary-care"></a>.</p>