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Half of doctors use at least some EHR features

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | December 30, 2010
Half of U.S. office-based doctors use at least some electronic health record features, a five percent increase over last year's figures, according to a new survey. And the number of doctors using richer systems that sport clinical tools has doubled since 2009, according to a report measuring health IT adoption in the run-up to the release of stimulus money.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released preliminary estimates from its yearly polls of thousands of doctors in ambulatory settings.

According to the mail-in poll, 50.7 percent of doctors reported using some sort of EMR/EHR system, up from 48.3 percent last year. What's more, 10.1 percent had a fully functional system with features such as drug contraindication warnings, up from 6.9 percent in 2009. A quarter of physicians reported having a basic system, up 14 percent from last year.

This January, doctors will start to be eligible for up to $44,000 in stimulus funds if they demonstrate "meaningful use" of EHR technology.

Figures come from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, conducted from April through July, sampling 10,301 doctors (response rate of 68 percent).