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Report Ranks Top Five Best, Worst States for EHR Adoption

Massachusetts and New Jersey came out as the best and worst states for EHR adoption and use, respectively, in a new report.

EHR Adoption

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- A recent report by the Center for Data Innovation ranked each state based on its rate of EHR adoption and provided recommendations on how policymakers can enable more efficient data use.

Data innovation—specifically in the healthcare industry—is imperative to fostering improvements across the care continuum.

Researchers at the Center for Data Innovation stated data insights using EHR technology for preventive care and better clinical decision making could cut costs across the industry by up to $450 billion.

States were evaluated and ranked for their level of EHR adoption and use according to the availability of high value data sets, development of useful technologies, and proliferation of human and business capital per state.

In their evaluation, researchers used 25 indicators in three categories to measure which states had the highest rate of EHR adoption and the most effective level of EHR use. These three categories included the following: 

  • Data: the extent to which key datasets are available, including data about the government, education, health care, and energy;
  • Technology: the availability of key digital infrastructure, such as broadband, smart meters, and electronic health records; and
  • People and companies: human and business resources, such as the number of open-data companies in the state, and the size of the data professional community.

The top five states for EHR adoption are as follows:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Wyoming
  3. Washington
  4. Minnesota
  5. Indiana

The five worst states for EHR adoption according to the report are as follows:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Louisiana
  4. Hawaii
  5. Vermont

Researchers also outlined the ways policymakers in top-ranked states enabled success in data innovation, partially crediting government entities for the growth of the data economy.

“First, states should take steps to guarantee that data is available for use, such as by ensuring government agencies collect and release high-value datasets,” researchers wrote. “Open government data promotes transparency, encourages citizen collaboration, and creates value through innovation and efficient decision-making.”

Liberating data so that it is widely available for use also offers the private sector a foundation for creating new products and services, such as new EHR solutions and EHR analytics tools.

“Second, states should enable the deployment of the technology platforms that underpin success in the data economy,” researchers wrote. “This includes facilitating the deployment of digital infrastructure, such as fixed and mobile broadband Internet, plus data platforms such as intelligent transportation systems, electronic health records, and smart meters.”

In tandem with deploying digital infrastructure, states should also support the development of the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Third, state economic development efforts should include a focus on the data economy and helping transform existing industries to make better use of data,” wrote researchers. “For example, better use of data and analytics in health care—to allow doctors to make better medical decisions and provide better preventative care—could slash costs by up to $450 billion.”

Transforming existing industries to focus on efficient data use starts by training and hiring staff with an interest in data innovation.

“Virtually every sector of the economy can benefit from better use of data,” continued researchers. “But the growth of data-driven enterprises will be limited by the availability of workers with in-demand data skills. To this end, states should promote the growth of data-driven businesses by improving educational offerings in data science and related fields.”

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