EHR Adoption Among FQHCs Up 133% in Five Years, Survey Finds
May 19, 2014 in News
The use of electronic health record systems among federally qualified health centers increased by 133% between 2009 and 2013, according to a recent survey released by the Commonwealth Fund, HealthLeaders Media reports (Commins, HealthLeaders Media, 5/19).
The survey included 679 executive directors or clinical directors at FQHCs. It was conducted between June 19, 2013 and October 14, 2013 and consisted of a 12-page questionnaire (Commonwealth Fund brief, May 2014).
According to the study, more than 90% of FQHCs said they had electronic health record systems in 2013, up from 30% in 2009.
In addition, the study found that in 2013:
- 85% of the centers said their EHR systems had advanced health IT capabilities, meaning they could perform at least nine of 13 functions;
- EHR adoption among FQHCs outpaced that of many larger physician practices or integrated hospital systems in 2013; and
- About 75% of FQHCs said their EHR systems meet federal meaningful use criteria.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (HealthLeaders Media, 5/19).
Further, the report found that a high rate of FQHCs had the ability to electronically share data within their organization, with:
- 83% of the centers able to share lab results;
- 80% able to share medication lists;
- 77% able to share visit summaries; and
- 76% able to share imaging reports.
However, the percentage of centers that could electronically share such information with outside organizations was not as high (Hall, FierceHealthIT, 5/16). Specifically:
- 41% of the centers could electronically share lab results with an outside group;
- 37% could share medication lists with an outside group;
- 34% could share visit summaries with an outside group; and
- 33% could share imaging reports with an outside group.
In addition, the study found limitations among FQHCs’ online portals. For example:
- 36% of centers had portals that could be used to request appointments or referrals;
- 34% had portals that could be used to request prescription refills; and
- 33% had portals that enabled the viewing of patient test results (Commonwealth Fund brief, May 2014).