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CDC survey reveals limited use of electronic health records systems

Carrie A. Morantz

Less than one third of hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States use electronic medical records, and even fewer physicians' offices do, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although three quarters of physicians' offices use electronic billing systems, only 17 percent reported that they use electronic medical records to support patient care. In hospitals, 31 percent of emergency departments and 29 percent of outpatient departments reported using electronic records in a CDC survey conducted between 2001 and 2003. The survey measured the use of systems to improve the accuracy and safety of prescription drug use. About 8 percent of physicians use a computerized physician order entry system (CPOE) instead of prescription pads. These systems compare orders with standard dosages and check for potential allergies and drug interactions. The study found that physicians younger than age 50 are twice as likely as older physicians to use CPOEs. The full CDC report, "Use of Computerized Clinical Support Systems in Medical Settings: United States, 2001-03," is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs.

COPYRIGHT 2005 American Academy of Family Physicians
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group





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