News

Eight out of 10 Hospitals Plan to Install EHR Systems

More than eight in 10 hospitals (81%) plan to achieve meaningful use of electronic health-record systems under the federal program that offers incentive payments to boost the use of health information technology under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to a news release from HHS.

Also, 65% of hospitals will enroll during Stage 1 of the incentive program, which began Oct. 1, 2010, for hospitals, according to the release.

Both numbers were gleaned from an American Hospital Association survey partially funded by the government. Dr. David Blumenthal, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS, was expected to discuss the numbers at a news briefing in Washington on Thursday.

In a news release issued before Blumenthal's news briefing, HHS reported that not quite one-third (32.4%) of the office-based physicians who participated in a National Center for Health Statistics survey conducted between April and July 2010 indicated that they planned to enroll in the program to receive federal EHR incentive payments during Stage 1, which began Jan. 1 for physicians and other "eligible providers" and will run through 2012. The National Center for Health Statistics is part of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the survey, only 41% of physicians indicated that they planned to participate at all in the EHR incentive program, including its Stage 2 and Stage 3 phases. Fourteen percent of respondents indicated they were not planning to apply for meaningful-use incentives.

Check out Friday's issue of HITS for coverage of Blumenthal's news briefing. - email Joseph Conn

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