The National Center for Health Statistics will expand its collection of specific information about the use of electronic medical records in its annual National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the agency of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.

The survey provides a range of baseline data on the characteristics of the users and providers of ambulatory care, according to the National Center for Health Statistics in a notice published Jan. 29 in the Federal Register. The center in 2008 added to the national survey a supplemental mail survey on the adoption and use of EMRs and now will continue and expand that practice.

"These data were requested by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Department of Health and Human Services, to measure progress toward goals for EMR adoption," according to the notice. "The mail survey will collect information on characteristics of physician practices and the capabilities of EMRs used in those practices. Starting in 2010, the EMR mail survey will have a five-fold increase from the 2009 sample to collect state-level data."

The notice is available at

--Joseph Goedert

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