Survey: U.S., Canada Lag in EHR Adoption

November 06, 2006
Twenty-eight percent of U.S. primary care physicians and 23% of Canadian PCPs utilize electronic health records, compared with 98% of PCPs in the Netherlands, according to a survey by the Commonwealth Fund/Harris Interactive published online by Health Affairs.

The survey found that 92% of physicians in New Zealand, 89% of physicians in the United Kingdom and 79% of physicians in Australia use EHRs. U.S and Canadian physicians also were less likely to receive computerized alerts about potential harmful drug interactions or drug does. Only 23% of U.S. physicians and 10% of Canadian physicians reported receiving such alerts, while rates in the other five countries surveyed ranged from 40% in Germany to 93% in the Netherlands.

Fewer than one in five U.S. and Canadian physicians said that their offices utilized seven or more of the 14 IT functions, such as electronic prescribing or automated alerts, evaluated by the survey. In the five other countries surveyed, 59% to 83% of physicians reported using at least seven of the IT functions.

The survey included more than 6,000 primary care physicians in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

Source: Commonwealth Fund/Harris Interactive

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