Three papers published March 8 in Health Affairs cover issues related to the adoption and benefits of electronic health records.

A study of 26 primary care practices in north Texas estimates the average cost to implement an EHR is $46,659 per physician. Implementation teams and end-users at studied sites, all part of Baylor Health Care System's HealthTexas group practice, spent an estimated 745 hours per physician on implementation activities.

An analysis at George Washington University finds use of EHRs will accelerate because more than 80 percent of office-based physicians are eligible for meaningful use incentive payments, but there are gaps that must be addressed. For instance, more than 90 percent of primary care physicians could qualify for incentives, but less than two-thirds of pediatricians, OBGYNs and psychiatrists may qualify.

A literature review conducted at the Office of the National Coordinator finds 92 percent of recent articles on health information technology reached positive conclusions. However, papers that assessed provider or staff satisfaction were less likely to report positive outcomes.

The articles are at

--Joseph Goedert


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