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U.S. Primary Care Doctors Gaining Ground on Health IT

But still lagging behind other nations; frustrations abound

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- While primary care physicians in the United States and other countries are gaining ground on health information technology use, there continues to be access-to-care barriers and breakdowns in coordination issues with other health care professionals, according to a Commonwealth Fund report published online Nov. 15 in Health Affairs.

Cathy Schoen, of the Commonwealth Fund in New York City, and colleagues conducted a survey that polled nearly 8,500 primary care physicians in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The goal was to assess health care experiences following new reforms taking effect in their countries.

The survey found that doctors have made progress on health information technology capacity, especially in the United States, over the past three years. In 2012, nearly 70 percent reported using electronic health records, compared with 46 percent in 2009.

"Although the United States and Canada still lag behind countries with near-universal adoption, the spread has been rapid in both countries, with a 50 percent increase in the rates of use of electronic medical records since 2009," the authors write.

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