Almost 70 percent of U.S. hospitals are only two steps or less away from possessing the requisite health IT applications to deliver the likely objectives of ‘meaningful use’ for the electronic medical record, according to the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model  (EMRAM).

Only 6 percent of hospitals report comprehensive adoption of health IT applications frequently associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act EHR criteria, such as major ancillary department information systems, clinical documentation, computerized physician order entry and clinical decision support. Nevertheless, 67 percent only need to add one or two of these applications to meet the threshold of EHR functionality available for their clinicians’ use, according to HIMSS Analytics.     

 "Our data show that the majority of US hospitals tracked by the HIMSS Analytics Database are just two stages or less away from having the applications implemented to achieve an electronic medical record tool capable of realizing ‘meaningful use’ objectives," said David E. Garets, HIMSS Analytics president/CEO. "That means that almost three quarters of US hospitals are on the right track to EMR implementation. We believe that when hospitals reach Stage 4 on the EMRAM, they will be able to meet many, if not most, of the pending criteria for the current definition of ‘meaningful use’ of the EMR."

HIMSS Analytics collects data from 5,166 US non-federal, medical/surgical hospitals.

 "The data are also clearly showing a rapid rise in adoption as well," Garets said. "Since 2006, the percentage of hospitals within two or fewer steps to this threshold has increased significantly."

To view the EMRAM comparison data from 2006 to 2008, visit the HIMSS Analytics Web site