Survey: Private Sector Ahead of States for EMR Adoption

 
 
By M.L. Baker  |  Posted 2007-02-21
 
 
 
While more than half of private-sector health-care facilities are currently using electronic medical records, just under a fifth of state health-care facilities have adopted them.

And when it comes to participating in regional health organizations, the trends are reversed. Forty-three percent of state health executives said they were involved in a RHIO, compared to only 20 percent of private sector representatives.

These results come from a survey released this week by Citrix Systems, a company that provides infrastructure to deliver software applications. About 350 private sector representatives and 100 state health representatives were surveyed. The private sector representatives were reached through an online survey, while the public representatives were interviewed through one-on-one telephone surveys.

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However, the survey represents real differences between the sectors, said Dave Podwojski, director of State and Local Government, Education and Health Care Markets at Citrix. Not only do private groups have more money, he said, "they have an easier time with what Podwojski called "change management." "Private groups have an easier way to mandate it: If you want to be here, this is the way to do it," he said.

Many state officials surveyed thought the state should take a stronger role in promoting health IT adoption, according to a summary of survey results. "Seventy-nine percent said states should provide a framework for RHIO development, 73 percent said states should provide start-up funding, and 72 percent said states should provide access to EMR technology solutions via an ASP [application service provider] model."

However, only 16 percent of state representatives interviewed said that their states had set a timeline for adoption.

While public groups have fewer resources, they do tend to be more collaborative, he said. "Theyll share applications, knowledge and everything else. Its not a competitive environment."

He said the extent of the gap surprised him. "I thought the public sector would be further ahead." Podwojski declined to comment on what leadership roles should be undertaken at the federal versus the state levels.

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