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EHR use more than doubles

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Most physicians are finally on board with electronic health records.

After years of resisting the transition from paper to paperless records keeping, physicians have, if not embraced paperless, at least accepted it. According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of them now have some sort of electronic health records systems in place.

The information comes from a survey conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The report said that, in 2007, less than 35 percent of physician practices used an EHR system to manage data. By 2012, that had risen to 72 percent, and, in the last two years, another 8 percent joined the crowd.

The CDC said large practices show a higher percentage of EHR adoption than smaller ones (those with fewer than 11 doctors), but that gap narrowed significantly in the last two years.

The CDC reported that less than one-quarter of practices said they used a fully functional system in 2012, and about four in 10 worked with a basic system as they gained experience with the systems.

“These incentives have had a large part in the increased adoption of these systems,” said lead researcher Esther Hing, a statistician at CDC’s U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

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