Annual report on the adoption and use of health information technology in the U.S.

UMSI Assistant Professor of Information Julia Adler-Milstein collaborated with Mathematica Policy Research and the Harvard School of Public Health to develop a report on the adoption of health information technology (HIT) among United States healthcare providers.

Start date: 4/15/2012
End date: 4/14/2013

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Driven by federal financial incentives in the past few years, healthcare providers increasingly have adopted health information technology (HIT) in meaningful ways. The report examined health information technology in the United States and found that the proportion of hospitals that have a basic electronic health record (EHR) has tripled since 2010.

The percentage of hospitals that have implemented systems that meet federal Meaningful Use Stage 1 criteria stands at 42 percent, up from 4.4 percent in 2010. Hospitals most likely to meet more stringent Stage 2 criteria were larger, teaching, private nonprofit hospitals in urban areas. In addition, More than 38 percent of physicians report having adopted basic EHRs in 2012.

Hospitals were more likely to implement EHR functions to record patient demographics, vital signs, and smoking status than they were functions for electronically submitted lab reports, health surveillance data, summary records for patient transitions between care settings, and functionalities for patient use.

The report examined healthcare providers adoption of HIT across a number of criteria, including:

  • Progress on adoption of electronic health records
  • Disparities in electronic health record adoption
  • International comparisons of HIT adoption between the U.S. and other countries
  • The progress and challenges of the health information exchange under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
  • Use of electronic health records to improve patient education

In addition to recognizing areas of significant HIT adoption in recent years, the report identified areas for potential growth and described the progress, gaps, and barriers to nationwide HIE in the United States. The report included policy recommendations to spur the implementation of HIE throughout the United States.

Ashish Jha from the Harvard School of Public Health and Catherine DesRoches, a senior scientist at Mathematica Policy Research served as the lead authors on this project. Also contributing to the report were Chun-Ju Hsiao from the National Center for Health Statistics, Farzad Mostashari from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Michael Painter from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

To read the full report, please click here.


Measuring adoption and use of health information technology in the United States to reduce health care disparities and improve quality: 2011-2013, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: $37,669


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and healthcare issues in the United States. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and healthcare, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change.

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