Data Briefs on EHR Adoption and Interoperability Highlight Alarming Trends
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released new data briefs by the American Hospital Association on electronic health records (EHR) adoption and interoperability in hospitals in 2015, and there are some alarming trends that will have impacts both upstream and downstream. As health care pushes towards more interoperability, variations in standards for data and implementation decisions have made it overly difficult to read and interpret the data being sent by providers, much less integrate it into a larger health database. 
Some disappointing statistics from the briefs:
  • A huge proportion of hospitals are sending data, but only 65 percent are receiving data. 
  • A smaller percentage of hospitals go looking for data: 52 percent try to find data. 
  • But, even after they receive data, only 38 percent of all hospitals are using or integrating data into care, down from 40 percent in 2015. 
  • 46 percent of hospitals say they had the necessary patient information electronically available, up from 41 percent in 2014. 
  • More hospitals complain of problems with data-matching: 33 percent this year, as compared to 24 percent last year. 
  • HIMSS in 2015 was rocked by announcements of various EHR vendors waiving interconnection fees; a year later, the percentage of hospitals running into financial difficulties hindering interoperability is the same: 25 percent. 

The e-briefs can be found here:
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