More hospitals sharing electronic health data than in 2008

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 19, 2013

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The number of hospitals exchanging information with other organizations grew substantially between 2008 and 2012, according to a study from the Health and Human Services Dept. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

The study, in the August issue of Health Affairs, found that in 2012, nearly six in 10 hospitals in the U.S. actively exchanged information with other physicians and hospitals outside their organizations. This represented a 41% increase from 2008. The analysis included 2,805 nonfederal, acute care hospitals in 2008, and 2,836 in 2012.

EHR adoption combined with participation in health information organizations contributed to the increase, according to the authors. Participation in a health information exchange was more closely associated with the exchange of lab and radiology results than with the exchange of clinical care summaries and medication lists, which a majority of hospitals still do not do, according to the study. “This shortcoming limits efforts to improve patient safety and coordinate care across settings,” the authors wrote (link).

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