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Electronic Medical Records Catch On Among Physicians

More U.S. doctors using electronic medical records in at least part of practice

MONDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Growing numbers of physicians in the United States are turning to electronic medical records, according to new statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Close to 25 percent of physicians said they were using full or partial electronic medical record systems in office-based practices in 2005, up from 18.2 percent in 2001. Moreover, physicians in the Midwest and West were more likely to use electronic medical records than their Northeastern counterparts, the CDC reports.

Doctors from urban areas were among the most likely to use electronic medical records when compared to their non-metropolitan counterparts. Just one in 10 physicians used electronic medical records for all four basic functions (computerized orders for prescriptions, computerized orders for tests, reporting of test results and physician notes). Solo practitioners were among the least likely to use electronic medical records, the survey indicates.

The new findings comprised responses from 1,281 physicians who participated in face-to-face interviews as part of the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Doctors were asked questions about the scope and size of their office-based practice, including whether or not they used full or partial electronic medical records.

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