The need to share patient information with other providers and the use of financial incentives are key drivers in why many providers adopt and use health information technology tools like EHRs, according a data brief released today from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).
ONC Report Overview
The new data brief details why physicians decided to adopt – or not adopt –EHRs, and it helps to explain how financial incentives drive physician EHR adoption. Additionally, data from the 2013 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, also highlights the high level of importance providers put on health information exchange.
“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. National delivery system reform initiatives linked to certified technology, such as the separately billable chronic care management services, will help make the electronic use and sharing of health information a reality,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary of health in an official statement.
Here are 26 trends driving physician EHR adoption highlighted in the data brief:
1. 8 in 10 physicians were using an EHR or planned to adopt one
2. Fewer than 1 in 10 physicians did not plan to adopt an EHR.
3. Among physicians not planning to adopt an EHR, 4 in 10 (41%) cited retirement as the reason for non-adoption
4. 82% of EHR adopters were using a meaningful use-enabled EHR
5. Physicians in large and multi-specialty practices had the lowest rates of physicians reporting they would never adopt an EHR
6. Solo practice physicians had the highest percentage of physicians who were uncertain about their EHR adoption plans and physicians who did not plan to adopt an EHR
7. Among specialty types, surgical specialists had the highest rate of physicians who never planned to adopt an EHR (9%)
8. No differences were observed between physicians in rural and urban areas
9. A majority of physicians who adopted an EHR between 2010 and 2013 reported that financial incentives or penalties had a major influence in their decision to adopt EHRs.
10. A larger proportion (62%) of physicians who adopted post-HITECH reported that financial incentives or penalties were major influences on their decision to adopt an EHR compared to those who adopted prior to 2009.
11. Physicians in both groups identified the ability to electronically exchange health information with other providers as a major motivation for adoption: this was the leading reason for physicians who adopted before HITECH, and 36% of physicians who adopted after HITECH passage.
12. The second most common motivation for EHR adoption among physicians who adopted after HITECH implementation was requirements for board certification.
13. Incentive payments, financial penalties, and technical assistance would be potential drivers for EHR adoption among physicians not using EHRs.
14. Availability of incentive payments or financial penalties would be major influences on the decision to adopt an EHR for more than half of physicians not using an EHR
15. More than 4 in 10 physicians who had not adopted an EHR reported that access to technical assistance around EHR implementation would be a major influence in their decision to adopt
16. Forty-four percent of physicians who had not adopted an EHR reported that a board certification requirement would be a major influence to adopt an EHR
17. Almost 4 in 10 physicians not using an EHR said that the ability to electronically exchange health information with other providers would majorly influence their decision to adopt an EHR
18. 1 in 3 physicians who had not adopted indicated they had applied, or planned to apply, for incentive funds
19. One-third of physicians who had not adopted an EHR had applied or planned to apply for incentive funds
20. Almost 3 in 10 non-adopter physicians had no plans to apply for incentive payments
21. Ten percent of physicians who had not adopted an EHR were not eligible for the EHR Incentive Program
22. More than 6 in 10 physicians who reported they would not adopt an EHR cited lack of resources as the reason
23. More than half of all physicians who planned to never adopt an EHR cited a lack of financial resources as a reason for the decision.
24. Physicians who planned never to adopt also cited other resource-based reasons for that decision: 48% cited a lack of time and 40% cited a lack of staff
25. Four in ten physicians who planned to never adopt an EHR indicated that privacy and security concerns contributed to the decision to not adopt.
26. Two in ten physicians reported that they would not adopt an EHR because no EHR system fit the needs of their specialty
The full data brief is available here: oncdatabrief-physician-ehr-adoption-motivators-2014