A recent report issued by the ONC (Office of the National Coordinator) shows that there has been remarkable progress in EHR (Electronic Health Record) adoption across the country. However, the report says that there are several obstacles in the way of healthcare organizations in the process of making the adoption hundred percent.
According to ONC, the surge that has been reported in the past few months or years in the number of healthcare organizations adopting web based electronic health records software is partly because of the passage of the HITECH Act. In the beginning of 2009, the number of healthcare organizations that had a basic Electronic Health Recording system was just 47 percent while the physicians who had them were less than 26 percent.
The HITECT Act was passed towards the mid of 2009. After that, there has been the slow but steady rise in the number of healthcare organizations and physicians adopting basic or advanced EHR solutions. By 2013, the number rose remarkably. The 2013 statistics show that the number of physicians who had access to Electronic Health Recording solutions was 48 percent while hospitals that had access to the same were about 60 percent.
ONC appreciates hospitals and professionals for their active participation
The ONC report does not reserve in appreciating the hospitals and professionals in the country for their active participation in various progressive EHR Incentive programs. According to the report, more than 90 percent of the eligible healthcare organizations and about 75 percent of the eligible healthcare professionals participated in various Electronic Health Recording Incentive Programs. In June 2014, most of these hospitals and professionals received incentive payments for their participation.
Obstacles on the way to ensuring hundred percent EHR adoption
The ONC report said that there are many obstacles before hospitals and healthcare professionals on their way to ensuring hundred percent adoptions of Electronic Health Recording solutions. The major obstacle is coping with the shift from traditional health recording systems to the Electronic Health Recording solutions.
Sadly, very few hospitals or professionals are equipped with the means to make this shift without affecting their practices. Furthermore, the non-standardized structure of the electronic health information impacts their interoperability. The report observes the need to improve the structure, format, consistency and other technical aspects of electronic health recording.
Although a total transition from traditional medical recording to the electronic medical recording seems to be beyond realization in the near future, the ONC believes that it is possible, given that all healthcare organizations and professionals work together.