Study reveals main incentives behind EHR adoption

Study reveals main incentives behind EHR adoption

A new data brief, released by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, revealed that many physicians are currently using electronic health records, or have plans to implement a system in the near future. The research also shows the primary motivations behind EHR adoption. 

According to the report, fewer than 1 in 10 health care providers were not planning to bring an EHR system into their practice. Over 40 percent of these physicians were not making the switch online because of impending retirements. About 70 percent of those surveyed were already using EHRs, and 82 percent of these medical facilities were using a meaningful-use enabled system. 

Financial factors were a significant motivator for those who adopted the systems between 2010 and 2013. The report noted that more than 60 percent of users who implemented the programs during this time cited incentive payments or financial penalties as their biggest reason for adopting. Almost 40 percent implemented the systems for board certification requirements, while 37 percent chose to bring EHRs into their organizations after receiving advice from trusted colleagues. 

One-third of surveyed practices without EHRs said they had applied for incentive funds or were planning to apply in the near future. Non-retiring physicians who said they would not be using EHR systems mainly pointed to a lack of resources – time, money and staff – as their primary motivation for remaining offline. 

"We have seen a significant increase in the adoption and use of health IT systems among providers and the new data shows the importance of incentives in building an interoperable health IT system," said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary of health, in a press release issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.