30 May Doctors adopting electronic health records at rapid pace
In the past few years, American hospitals have made information technology implementation a top priority. With the help of solutions such as electronic health records, physicians are driving higher quality of care, cutting long-term expenses and streamlining operations.
According to the Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, American medical practices are well on their way to meeting the deadline for having digital medical records management systems in place by 2015. She noted that more than 50 percent of doctor's offices and more than 80 percent of hospitals are expected to have electronic health records by the end of this year.
These adoption rates exceed the government's goals, a major change from just a short time ago. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 17 percent of physicians had an advanced electronic health record system in 2012.
One of the major challenges still facing these news record keeping systems, however, is developing interoperability. The American Psychological Association noted that by giving many doctors access to an individual's medical history, professionals may be able to deliver more individualized care. As solutions because more advanced, the full potential of these healthcare IT tools is likely to be revealed.