HealthIT: Progress Shown, Challenges Ahead

In collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health and Mathematics Policy Research, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report analyzing health information technology in the United States.

The report analyzed the following areas and we’ve detailed a few key points below:

Progress on adoption of electronic health records

  • In 2012, 40% of office-based physicians had adopted at least a basic EHR.

  • Only 5% of hospitals could meet all 16 core objectives for stage 2 meaningful use; however, 63% reported meeting 11–15 of the functionalities, suggesting a large proportion of hospitals are close to meeting these objectives.

Mitigating disparities in electronic health record adoption

  • While small, rural, teaching hospitals are still less likely to have a basic EHR, they are adopting these functions at a faster rate than large, urban, teaching hospitals.

Health information exchange under HITECH:  progress but challenges

  • Test results and patient summary care records were the most common type of data exchanged (in 82% and 79% of HIE efforts, respectively), while public heath reports were the least common type of data exchanged (30%).

  • 74% of HIE efforts identify that developing a sustainable business model was a moderate or substantial barrier.

Improving patient education with electronic health records

  • Case studies reveal there are many challenges to the optimal use of EHRs for patient education.

  • Tailoring/customizing education materials is still more a manual than electronic process; and accessing content with appropriate language and literacy remains a challenge.