EHR Use Grows

14-intAs the healthcare industry transitions from paper-based to paperless records, adoption of EHRs (Electronic Health Records) continue to grow.  EHRs are the software systems that hold all of the digital data – personal information, medical data, etc. that comprise a medical record for a patient. In 2009 the US federal government earmarked $27 billion to encourage US healthcare providers to make the switch and the UK followed suit with 2018 being the date for the public healthcare network to be entirely paper free.

Transparency Market Research’s (TMR) ‘Electronic Health Records (EHR) Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 – 2020’ report shows a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% over its value of $15.56 billion in 2013. TMR reports that the trend will continue through 2020 with expected adoption of cloud based system use to grow due to the nominal upfront costs. Over 90% of US hospitals are using certified EHRs with most using client server-based systems rather than cloud based systems.

As well as natural growth, an uptick in long-term care facility EHR adoption is likely due to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) proposed new rules that, while not mandating EHR use, require nursing home and long-term care facilities to send patient care summaries to the nursing facility receiving the patient in the event of a transfer. The summary does not need to be in digital form, but language in the rules “encourages facilities to explore how the use of certified health IT can support their efforts to electronically develop and share standardized discharge summaries.” With over 15,000 long-term, post-acute care facilities caring for over 1.5 million Medicare and Medicaid patients across the US, this missing link in requiring paperless records can account for a very large increase adoption numbers.

While 42% of global EHR use was in North America in 2013, the market is growing in Australia and New Zealand, and the Asian countries of China, Japan and India will show quick growth in upcoming years.

Microwize Technology has been helping physicians to adopt EHR since 1997. One size does not fit all and that is why they offer Medisoft Clinical and Lytec MD for practices that have been using Medisoft and Lytec, McKesson Practice Choice for startup practices looking for a monthly fee and cloud based system, and Greenway PrimeSUITE for the busy practice with multi-physicians and multi-specialties. Greenway’s integrated EHR, practice management and interoperability solution PrimeSUITE, currently provides the optimal quality data and exchange necessary for PQRS reporting.