A majority of hospitals in all but one state have adopted certified EHR technology as of 2015, according to an ONC data brief.
Overall, 96 percent of hospitals have adopted CEHRT, with 49 states and Washington, DC, having at least 81 percent adoption rates. In Utah, the adoption rate is the lowest for any state at 75 percent.
ONC’s data, informed by the 2015 American Hospital Association survey, also shows that a majority of small rural hospitals have certified EHR technology. In 49 states, the adoption rates are at least 81 percent. Utah’s adoption rate in small rural hospitals is 76 percent, and ONC had no data on Washington, DC’s EHR adoption rates.
CEHRT adoption rates in critical access hospitals in all states for which ONC had data were at least 81 percent. The agency reported no data for Maryland, Delaware, Washington, DC, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
The ONC data brief showed more scattered results for basic EHR adoption with physician notes. Sixteen states have basic EHR adoption rates between 61 and 80 percent in acute care hospitals. In 34 states and Washington, DC, basic EHR adoption with notes is between 81 percent and 100 percent.
Small rural hospitals, defined as those in regions outside of statistically metropolitan regions, have even lower basic EHR adoption, with 23 hospitals reporting 81 percent adoption or higher. Nineteen states have basic EHR adoption rates between 61 and 80 percent, 3 states between 41 and 60 percent, and Connecticut has an EHR adoption rate of 0 percent. ONC does not have data for three states and Washington, DC.
Likewise, small hospitals, defined as those with fewer than 100 staffed beds, have inconsistent basic EHR adoption rates. Twenty-eight hospitals have basic EHR adoption rates between 81 percent and 100 percent, 17 between 61 and 80 percent, and four between 41 and 60 percent. ONC does not have data for Washington, DC, and New Jersey has a 0 percent adoption rate.
Twenty-six states have at least 81 percent basic EHR adoption rates among their critical access hospitals, while 15 have rates between 61 and 80 percent. Three have basic EHR adoption rates between 41 percent and 60 percent, and ONC does not have data for five states and Washington, DC. Hawaii has a 0 percent adoption rate.
The ONC data brief includes other information about health IT and EHR use in acute care hospitals, including health information exchange capabilities, interoperability, and patient engagement functionality.
Overall, 76 percent of acute care hospitals can electronically share lab results with outside healthcare providers, with 19 states and Washington, DC, having at least 81 percent of their hospitals with robust lab result sharing capabilities.
Seventy-six percent of hospitals are likewise able to electronically share summary of care records with any outside provider. Eighteen states and Washington, DC, have at least 81 percent of their hospitals sharing electronic summary of care records with other providers.
EHR and health data interoperability is moving more slowly than HIE capabilities, the data shows. On average, 52 percent of hospitals across the nation are able to access electronic patient data through their EHR.
Patient data integration is likewise slower growing, with 50 percent of the nation’s hospitals able to integrate patient data across different providers.
Sixty-nine percent of hospitals across the country allow patients to view, download, and transmit their health data. While eight states allow for robust view, download, and transmit capabilities, most have data access rates between 61 and 80 percent.
Sixty-three percent of hospitals facilitate secure direct messaging between patients and providers. In seven states, secure messaging rates have increased to over 81 percent.
This data shows that although certified EHR adoption may be widespread, hospitals still have room for growth when it comes to health IT use.
As hospitals face the optional 2017 or the mandatory 2018 start date for stage 3 meaningful use, they may need to reinforce their HIE and interoperability functionalities. Furthermore, they may need to increase their patient engagement capabilities, allowing more patients to view, download, and transmit their health data and secure message their providers.