WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Adoption of advanced health information technology (HIT) capabilities is inconsistent across health care systems, with electronic health record (EHR) standardization being the strongest predictor of advanced capabilities, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.

Paul Norton, M.P.H., from the University of California at Berkeley, and colleagues used data from the 2017/2018 National Survey of Healthcare Organizations and Systems to examine adoption of five advanced HIT capabilities in health systems. The final sample included 389 health care systems.

The researchers found that adoption of advanced HIT capabilities was inconsistent, with a mean of 2.4 capabilities adopted. Overall, 80.5 percent of systems adopted between one and four features; only 8.4 percent adopted all five HIT capabilities. More than three-quarters of systems reported that patients were able to access their medical records, while less than 32 percent reported that physicians were able to know when patients fill prescriptions and allowed patients to comment on medical records. The strongest predictor of HIT adoption was the degree of EHR standardization; system management and ownership of hospitals and medical groups were also statistically significant.

“Health system leaders looking to improve the diffusion of new technologies should consider ways to better standardize their implementation and use of EHRs to drive widespread adoption of and benefit from new features,” the authors write.

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