South Dakota in Nation’s Top Five for Electronic Health Record Usage and Growth
According to a recent report by SK&A, a national healthcare data research firm, physician office usage of electronic health records software on a national scale is at 45.6%, up 5% from July 2011 compared to January 2012 . Out of all states surveyed, South Dakota is ahead of that national trend and now ranks fifth overall with 57.2%.
Electronic health record software has been around for many years, but recent years have seen tremendous growth with the help of federal incentives and a larger focus on its impact on the quality of healthcare. While software and hardware costs widely vary, the benefits to both patient and provider can be immense.
“We see technology impacting the nation every day and in every form of daily life. The same is not true for all of healthcare,” said Holly Arends, HealthPOINT’s Clinical IT Manager. “It is a fact that as a nation, we are behind other countries in EHR adoption but now is the opportunity for us to raise the bar. Electronic health records (EHR) eliminate duplicate information and the need for repeat testing due to lack of information at the point of care. EHRs improves patient safety and cost savings for healthcare stakeholders, which includes patients. EHRs allow patients and providers to work together on their care plans and treatment options. The EHR software usage increase we’re seeing not only as a nation, but as a state is very encouraging. As part of Dakota State University and the state’s Regional Extension Center, we are tasked to provide direct technical assistance to providers who are adopting electronic health records. We fully expect these numbers to increase.”
SK&A’s data is based on telephone surveys to over 240,000 U.S. medical sites.
As a federally designated health information technology resource and support center for all South Dakota healthcare providers, HealthPOINT focuses on an action-based approach to propel providers in adopting electronic health record systems. Since April of 2010, HealthPOINT has been using its broad, Health IT expertise to help PCPs, who face unique and complex challenges with EHR adoption, make a smooth transition to their EHR goals. HealthPOINT gears its support to meet each practice’s specific needs – from identifying financial resources to negotiating with EHR vendors to redesigning office workflow. Over 1,000 healthcare professionals are already working with HealthPOINT, the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) based at Dakota State University’s Center for the Advancement in Health IT (CAHIT).
HealthPOINT was awarded through an objective review process by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), as the designated organization in South Dakota to support primary health care providers on EHR adoption and meaningful use.