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International EMR Adoption Graphic, Reverb Chamber, and Workflow

Posted on June 30, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This graphic seems to position the US in the lead position when it comes to EHR and HIE. Although, I’m not sure which countries they chose to include in the chart. As I recall countries like Norway and Denmark were way ahead of us and somehow they didn’t make it on the graphic. Plus, it looks like they used the very best numbers they could find for the US as opposed to realistic ones.

This tweet from Mandi reminded me that sometimes we live in a reverb chamber that the larger part of the healthcare community doesn’t hear. I think we’d all be amazed how many people in healthcare IT know very little about the workings of the healthcare IT market. They’re so focused on their jobs they see little outside of their healthcare organization. In fact, many are naive to even what’s happening within their own healthcare organization.

It’s still amazing to me how we have so many ways to connect and learn and yet many don’t seem to care.

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you’ll know the name Charles Webster, MD. He’s talking workflow everywhere he goes. What I haven’t figured out is if workflow is really the issue we’re not dealing with or if Dr. Webster just has workflow solutions and so everything he sees is a workflow problem. The proverbial “everything is a nail when you have a hammer.”

US Lags Behind On Physician EMR Use

Posted on February 20, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

US doctors are far behind most of their counterparts in Europe and Australia when it comes to EMR adoption, according to a new study by The Commonwealth Fund.

To get a sense of EMR adoption internationally, the Fund surveyed almost 9,800 primary care physicians representing 11 countries.  The results: the U.S. still  has a ways to go to catch up with peers in other developed nations.

True, U.S. doctors’ uptake of health IT has gone up dramatically, from 46 percent using an EMR in 2009 to 69 percent in 2012, the study found.

That being said, doctors in such countries as the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, the U.K., Australia and Sweden all reported EMR usage rates above 88 percent in 2012.  The country with the lowest adoption rate was Switzerland, which trailed all countries in the survey with a 41 percent EMR uptake rate by physicians in 2012.

As for sophisticated usage of EMRs, defined by the Fund as using at least two electronic functions such as order entry management, generating patient information, generating panel information or clinical decision support, the U.S. didn’t make it onto the list of power users. Only the U.K., Australia and the Netherlands had more than 50 percent of doctors who did so.

Despite the gap in usage between other nations and the U.S., I thought the nearly 70 percent rate of primary care usage was a very positive sign.  I don’t know if this jump is 100 percent attributable to Meaningful Use — I believe PCPs see the writing on the wall and will go with EMRs to manage medical home functions regardless — but either way, it’s a sign that changes major and permanent have happened among the primary care flock.

Still, what really matters isn’t just how many PCPs have bought an EMR. What I’d like to know is how many of those 70 percent are tackling Meaningful Use requirements effectively, and how many are still stymied. If I find that data you can be sure I’ll share it here!