Recent reports show electronic health records sales ramping up sharply in coming years, along with a reality check on why those sales are being made.

According to HIMSS Analytics, a Chicago-based research firm with a database that tracks hospital use of I.T., 86 percent of hospitals today are not in position to qualify for the first of three stages of EHR meaningful use criteria, which start in 2011. But 51 percent of hospitals are close to meeting the first criteria stage and receiving incentive payments, and another 17 percent are a year or two behind.

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