The National Center for Health Statistics in its latest survey of electronic health records use among office-based physicians finds many participating in the meaningful use program or intending to, but few ready for Stage 2.

In 2013, 69 percent of physicians were participating in meaningful use or getting ready to, but only 13 percent had an EHR capable of supporting 14 of 17 Stage 2 objectives. Use of any type of EHR hit 78 percent in 2013, and 48.1 percent had a “basic” EHR compared with 39.6 percent in 2012. A basic EHR supports patient history and demographics, problem lists, physician notes, medication/allergy lists, computerized orders for prescriptions, and electronic viewing of lab and imaging results.

The capability of physicians’ EHRs to support seven core objectives in Stage 2 has increased significantly since 2010, according to NCHS. Those objectives include electronic reporting to immunization registries, providing reminders for guideline-based interventions, ordering lab tests, providing warnings of drug interactions or contraindications, ordering prescriptions, electronically sending prescriptions to pharmacies, and recording patient history and demographic information.

The study covers office-based, non-federal physicians providing direct care and excludes radiologists, anesthesiologists and pathologists. The 2013 estimates of physician use of EHRs result from a survey of 10,302 physicians. More information is available here.

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