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Pediatrician Adoption of EHR Systems Lagging Behind

Last Updated: November 19, 2012.

Pediatricians' adoption of fully functional electronic health record systems is lagging and fraught with financial and productivity concerns, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in Pediatrics.

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians' adoption of fully functional electronic health record (EHR) systems is lagging and fraught with financial and productivity concerns, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in Pediatrics.

Michael G. Leu, M.D., of the Seattle Children's Hospital, and colleagues surveyed 1,620 randomly selected members of the American Academy of Pediatrics to evaluate the use of EHRs and barriers to their adoption.

The researchers found that, of the 646 pediatric clinicians who responded, 54 percent reported using electronic medical records, and 41 percent used an EHR system. However, only 25 percent of these systems met the definition of a basic EHR and 6 percent met the definition of a fully functional EHR. Fewer still (3 percent) used a system that was both fully functional and pediatric-supportive. Those practicing in multispecialty or hospital-based practices were more likely to use an EHR compared with solo or two-physician practices. Primary barriers to implementation of EHRs included financial concerns for more than half, and, for more than one-third, concerns about whether these systems would meet their needs and concerns about how EHR implementation would affect their productivity.

"Pediatric adoption of fully functional EHRs lags general adoption. Barriers to adoption include financial and productivity concerns, but pediatricians are also concerned about finding systems that meet their needs," the authors write. "Few pediatricians use a system that is pediatric-supportive. To help identify pediatric-supportive systems, EHR certification efforts should include these requirements."

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