Small Providers Benefit from EHRs, Survey Shows

Greg Freeman, for HealthLeaders Media, March 22, 2011

Health information technology (IT) has benefited even small physician practices, according to a new report that contradicts other recent findings claiming that electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT do not yield the benefits most providers expect.

Previous studies focused on the early years of electronic health records (EHR) when functions were not as mature, according to one of the authors of the survey article, David Blumenthal, MD, the national coordinator for health IT. He made the comments at a briefing sponsored by Health Affairs journal to announce its latest published studies.

Furthermore, the survey found evidence of emerging measurable benefits for small practices in addition to the larger health IT leaders, such as Kaiser Permanente and the Veterans Affairs Department, which have been the source of much experience data in the past, he said.

“Two salient aspects of this more recent synthesis is that it brings the literature up to date and extends it beyond the few large systems that were the source of most information on the record for health information technology, and looks at it in a much more representative set of provider settings,” Blumenthal said.

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