Healthcare News & Insights

Small practices catching up in EHR adoption

Though larger organizations were the first to switch to electronic health records, a new survey says small practices and solo physicians are catching up and installing EHR systems in big numbers. 

In fact, medical offices with one or two doctors have seen the fastest growth in EHR adoption recently, according to a study of 240,281 medical sites conducted by healthcare research firm SK&A.

Those groups outpaced larger physician organizations in EHR implementations for the first time, according to the ongoing research project. Adoption rates for single doctor offices increased from 31% to 37%, while the rate for offices with six to ten doctors jumped by just 2%, from 63% to 65%.

Overall adoption rates for doctors’ offices increased by 5% during that time, with 45.6% of offices now using EHRs, according to the study. SK&A attributes the increase to the federal incentive payments available for EHR adoption, as well as a risein the number of medical workers who have gone through health IT training programs and increased promotion to the small office market from EHR vendors.

Although smaller practices appear to be catching up, larger practices are still more likely to be using EHRs. For example, 77% of offices with 26 or more doctors are using EHRs, compared to 55% of those with three to five doctors. Offices with the highest patient volumes and the most exam rooms are also the most likely to use EHRs.

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