Survey shows small medical facilities adopting EMR faster than larger facilities

While studies have shown that EMR implementation is rising in the United States, a recent survey based on telephone responses from more than 240,000 American practice sites found that EMR adoption is rising faster in small medical facilities (defined as having roughly one or two practicing physicians) than larger facilities.

Conducted by healthcare information resource SK&A, the researchers found that EMR adoption rates for facilities with only one doctor rose 6 percentage points during the second half of 2011, up to nearly 37 percent. By contrast, facilities employing between six and 10 doctors only grew two percentage points, rising from 63 to 65 percent.

After seeing the results of the survey, experts have suggested several reasons as to why this trend has occurred. For example, practice management expert Gray Tuttle explained to InformationWeek that small facilities' electronic medical records systems are more "nimble" and less complex, facilitating an easier transition.

Tuttle also mentioned that many small facilities are utilizing cloud computing, which eases much of the burden of sophisticated in-house technology maintenance.

Furthermore, SK&A's director of marketing Jack Schember mentioned in the article that many of these small facilities are owned by larger healthcare systems with "deep pockets," laying the framework for seamless EMR adoption with implementation and training assistance.

By this logic, one of the barriers preventing EMR deployment in facilities with more staff is a lack of support from healthcare IT experts. To bridge this gap, facility managers who have been unable to make the transition to digital healthcare because of a lack of internal resources can turn to a certified medical technology consulting company.

These professionals can install a software suite of widely usable products and provide thorough on-site support and training. Consequently, staff will be able to overcome obstacles related to the complexities of larger data management systems and successfully use EMR to improve patient care.