Most Doctors Don’t Meet U.S. Push For Electronic Records

Alex Nussbaum | Bloomberg | June 4, 2013

Fewer than 1 in 10 doctors used electronic records last year to U.S. standards, according to a survey that shows the challenge facing a multibillion-dollar effort to digitize the health system for improved patient care.

Only 9.8 percent of 1,820 primary-care and specialty doctors said they had electronic systems that met U.S. rules for “meaningful use,” a list of tasks such as tracking referrals or filling prescriptions online. Less than half all those surveyed, or 44 percent, had any system in place, according to the report published by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The Obama administration has spent about $15 billion since 2009 to help doctors and hospitals adopt electronic health records, fueling growth for vendors such as McKesson Corp. (MCK) and Cerner Corp. (CERN) In March, the administration said it was considering new regulations, amid complaints that the systems are hard to use and don’t share information easily.