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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides substantial stimulus expenditures in the health care industry for the development and adoption of health information technology. The largest allocation of funding—about $17 billion—is for incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid to encourage providers to implement electronic health records.1 

However, a mid-2010 study by Health Affairs found that while the share of U.S. hospitals that have adopted either basic or comprehensive electronic health records rose modestly between 2008 and 2009, from 8.7 percent to 11.9 percent, only 2 percent of this country's hospitals reported having records that would meet the federal government's "meaningful use" criteria.

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1 "Stimulus package contains $19 billion for health care technology spending and adoption of electronic health records" by Chanley Howell, Wisconsin Technology Network, Feb. 19, 2009

Additional Links

The Official Web Site for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

This official web site provides up-to-date, detailed information about the Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs. CMS - June 01, 2010

Health Care Leader Action Guide on Implementation of Electronic Health Records

The Health Care Leader Action Guide on Implementation of Electronic Health Records provides a roadmap to help senior executives develop a strategy to use EHRs that advances the organization's ability to deliver care that is safer, more effective, and efficient. Health Research & Educational Trust - July 2010

Staff Shortages Could Impact EHR Adoption PDF

This survey, released recently by CHIME, reports concerns by some hospital CIOs that IT staffing shortages adversely affect EHR and IT implementation projects. CHIME - October 07, 2010

AHA's EHR Contracting Guidelines

The AHA has developed the following guidelines for EHR contracting. These guidelines address the most common issues for hospitals that license EHR software applications and/or obtain related products and services from a vendor. This is a AHA members-only resource. AHA - January 19, 2011

Electronic Health Records - HIMSS Topics and Tools

Electronic Health Records: Potential to Transform Medical Education

HITECH in High Gear

The Road to Meaningful Use: What it Takes to Implement Electronic Health Record Systems PDF