Change in Adoption of Electronic Health Records by US Children’s Hospitals. (Vats)

Pediatrics. 2013, 131: e1563-1575. Apr 15. PMID: 23589808

OBJECTIVES: To assess electronic health record (EHR) adoption and meaningful use among US children’s hospitals through 2011 and compare these outcomes with adult hospitals and among subgroups of children’s hospitals. We hypothesized that children’s hospitals would show progress since our initial evaluation of health information technology (HIT) implementation in 2008.

METHODS: We identified children’s hospitals using the membership directory of the Children’s Hospital Association and analyzed their responses from 2008 to 2011 to the American Hospital Association’s annual HIT survey. EHR adoption rates were determined by using previously specified definitions of the essential functionalities comprising an EHR. Achievement of meaningful use was evaluated based on hospitals’ ability to fulfill 12 core meaningful use criteria. We compared these outcomes in 2011 between children’s and adult hospitals and among subgroups of children’s hospitals. 

RESULTS: Of 162 children’s hospitals, 126 (78%) responded to the survey in 2011. The proportion of children’s hospitals with an EHR increased from 21% (in 2008) to 59% (in 2011). In 2011, 29% of children’s hospitals met the 12 core criteria in our meaningful use proxy measure. EHR adoption rates and meaningful use were significantly higher for children’s hospitals than for adult hospitals as a whole but similar for children’s and adult major teaching hospitals. Among children’s hospitals, major teaching hospitals were significantly more likely to have an EHR.

CONCLUSIONS: Children’s hospitals have achieved substantial gains in HIT implementation although minor teaching and nonteaching institutions are not keeping pace.

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