The main drivers for providers who adopt health IT tools such as electronic health records are financial incentives and the need to share patient information with other providers, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT.

A new data brief released by ONC finds that since the enactment of the 2009 HITECH Act 62 percent of physicians who adopted health IT tools did so to get financial incentives and to avoid penalties, compared with only 23 percent of physicians who adopted before the enactment of the law.

“We have seen a significant increase in the adoption and use of health IT systems among providers and the new data shows the importance of incentives in building an interoperable health IT system,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary of health, in a written statement.

Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2013 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the ONC data brief also highlights the high level of importance providers put on health information exchange. “More than a third of both adopters and non-adopters reported that the ability to electronically exchange patient health information with other providers was, or would be, a major influence in any decision regarding EHR adoption,” states the data brief.

According to the survey results, 8 in 10 physicians either planned to adopt, or have already adopted, an EHR. At the same time, more than 6 in 10 physicians who reported they would not adopt an EHR cited lack of resources (financial, time, staff) as the reason. Solo practice physicians had the highest percentage of providers who were uncertain on adoption or who never planned to adopt.




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