Tuesday, February 7, 2012

EHR Adoption Grows Over 5 Percent in 6 Months

SK&A’s updated “Physician Office Usage of Electronic Health Records Software” report revealed a significant growth in EHR software adoption during 2011. Findings of the report, which were finalized in January 2012, show overall growth in the EHR implementation, as government initiative deadlines get closer.

SK&A was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), to provide ongoing survey information about the adoption, usage and planned usage of electronic health records (EHR) by physicians in U.S. medical offices. The SK&A OneKey database of 251,000 medical offices and over 700,000 physicians is delivered to ONC quarterly.

SK&A's Research Center in Irvine, Calif., conducts telephone interviews with office managers and physicians in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Every month, the researchers survey and verify information at more than 40,000 sites. Medical offices are asked about their intent to purchase an EHR and about their timeframe, decision factors (such as price and functionality), and awareness of government incentives for adopting EHR technology.

Physician Office Usage of Electronic Healthcare Records Software

January 2012July 2011
Overall U.S. Office ResponseYes %No %Yes %No %
By Number of Physicians at SiteYes %No %Yes %No %
1 physician36.9%63.1%30.8%69.2%
2 physicians47.1%52.9%41.6%58.4%
3 to 5 physicians54.9%45.1%51.0%49.0%
6 to 10 physicians64.9%35.1%63.0%37.0%
11 to 25 physicians74.0%26.0%71.6%28.4%
26 or more physicians77.2%22.8%75.5%24.5%
By Number of Exam Rooms at SiteYes %No %Yes %No %
1 room31.2%68.8%28.2%71.8%
2 rooms34.0%66.0%28.5%71.5%
3 rooms38.8%61.2%32.9%67.1%
4 rooms43.4%56.6%37.6%62.4%
5 rooms47.1%52.9%42.0%58.0%
6 to 10 rooms54.1%45.9%49.7%50.3%
11 or more rooms66.6%33.4%64.1%35.9%
By Average Daily Patient VolumeYes %No %Yes %No %
1 to 50 patients41.2%58.8%36%64%
51 to 75 patients54.2%45.8%50%50%
76 to 100 patients60.6%39.4%57.7%42.3%
101+ patients68.4%31.6%66.1%33.9%
By ApplicationYes %No %Yes %No %
Electronics notes33.1%66.9%31.9%68.1%
Electronic prescribing31.1%68.9%29.9%70.1%
Electronic labs/xrays31.9%68.1%30.7%69.3%
All of the above26.4%73.6%25.2%74.8%
By Site OwnershipYes%No%Yes %No %
Hospital owned59.5%40.5%60.4%39.6%
Nonhospital owned43.2%56.8%38.9%61.1%
Health system owned64.2%35.8%63.5%36.5%
Nonhealth system owned43.1%56.9%38.5%61.5%
By RegionYes %No %Yes %No %
North 47.7%52.3%42.4%57.6%
South 47.3%52.7%41.6%58.4%
East 41.7%58.3%37.3%62.7%
West 45.7%54.3%40.5%59.5%
By Practice SpecialtyYes %No %By Practice SpecialtyYes %No %
Top 5 specialtiesJanuary 2012Top 5 SpecialtiesJuly 2011
Nuclear Medicine64.2%35.8%Nuclear Medicine60.6%39.4%
Radiology62.8%37.2%Aerospace Medicine59.7%40.3%
Genetic Specialist60.5%39.5%Radiology58.8%41.2%
Bottom 5 SpecialtiesBottom 5 Specialties
Plastic Surgery31.0%69.0%Psychiatric25.7%74.3%
Psychiatric29.2%70.8%Other Specialty25.7%74.3%
Psychiatry25.0%75.0%Holistic Medicine17.0%83.0%
Holistic Medicine18.7%81.3%Psychiatry16.7%83.3%
By StateYes %No %By StateYes %No %
Top 5 StatesJanuary 2012Top 5 StatesJuly 2011
North Dakota59.9%40.1%Massachusetts52.9%47.1%
South Dakota57.2%42.8%North Dakota52.1%47.9%
Bottom 5 StatesBottom 5 States
New York40.0%60.0%Rhode Island35.6%64.4%
New Jersey34.6%65.4%New Jersey30.0%70.0%
Source: SK&A, A Cegedim Company, Jan 24, 2012 Based on telephone survey of 240,281 U.S. medical sites

Editor's Note: For a copy of the summary findings for publication, please contact Jack Schember, SK&A Vice President of Marketing, at 800-752-5478, ext. 1259.


  1. I'm happy to see more and more practices adopting EHRs, but I'm surprised that the number is still so low - especially with the smaller practice sizes.

    Hopefully over the next few years we can really see a transformation.

  2. Now that there are more cost effective options for smaller clinics, the number of EHR users should increase significantly. I think physicians are being more informed about the implementation process and the benefits of using EHR systems.

  3. Some experts would argue that none of the results of this study are surprising. Certainly larger doctors’ offices are going to implement EHRs at a rate higher than the smaller ones – it also stands to reason that independent practices are going to adopt these systems at a lower rate than a hospital or health system and offices because large health care providers usually have more management focus on innovations and more ability to effectively source the funding for these projects. Ironically, though, it’s the independent doctors who may need these systems the most, since many of them tend to be “snowed under” by the extra responsibilities of maintaining revenue cycles and complying with a growing system of regulations. Ron McLaughlin, CEO, enhancedmedicalbilling.com