Physicians today are facing a variety of challenges in a rapidly changing environment, and adoption of EHRs may one of the most significant. The number of medical practices using EHRs has increased measurably over the past decade. A 2010 CDC report showed that 48% of physicians reported using all or partial EHR systems in their office-based practices; this is increased to 57% in 2011. A study based on 2010 data from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) shows 52% of the medical practices responding use an EHR.
EHR adoption rates among allergists have increased as well. A 2011 AAAAI Needs Assessment Survey revealed that 61% of respondents utilized EHRs in their professional practices, with 45% using it constantly. Data from a 2011 survey of allergists from AmericanEHR Partners revealed similar numbers, with 53% of respondents using an EHR in their primary work location. Although there may be some selection bias with electronically disseminated surveys, the trend holds in our own specialty. The EHRs most commonly used by allergists in this survey were: Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, Epic, GE Centricity, Meditab, and NextGen.
Included here are links to on the benefits and challenges of EHR adoption, selection and implementation guidance.
CMS rule to help providers make use of Certified EHR Technology
Proposed Changes to Meaningful Use Stage Timeline and the Use of CEHRT
Overview and Benefits
• EHR Basics
• EHR 101 from the Center for Health IT at the AAFP
• Benefits of EHRs
• Health IT Case Studies and Data
• Nir Menachemi and Taleah H Collum. Benefits and drawbacks of electronic health record systems. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2011; 4: 47–55
Selection and Implementation
• EHR Readiness Assessment— (users must register for full site access; registration is free)
• Find an EHR
• Best Practices in the Implementation of an EHR
• HiMSS EHR Readiness Assessment Toolkit
• HealthIT.gov: How do I conduct a practice EHR readiness assessment?
• Department of Health and Human Services: How to conduct a practice EHR readiness assessment
• Healthinsight.org: Breakout session on EHR selection and implementation
• Taft.org EHR readiness assessment toolkit
• Ajami S, Ketabi S, Isfahani SS, Heidari A. Readiness assessment of electronic health records implementation. Acta Inform Med. 2011 Dec;19(4):224-7. doi: 10.5455/aim.2011.19.224-227
Available EHR Selection Tools
• Web based EHR Matching System
• KLAS offers vendor neutral ratings of healthcare technology
• EHR Selection from the Center for Health IT at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
• How to Implement EHRs
• American College of Physicians—EHR Roadmap and Tools
AAAAI Practice Management Resource Guide
• Chapter 10: Electronic Medical Records, Electronic Prescribing, Mobile Technology and Practice Management Software