The number of children’s hospitals with EMRs in place — and compliant with Meaningful Use — has increased substantially over the last few years, though minor teaching and nonteaching institutions are not as far along, according to a new study appearing in the journal Pediatrics.
The study, which compares data on EMR adoption from 2008 with data on 2011, collected data from 126 children’s hospitals. Researchers calculated EMR adoption rates by using existing definitions of the key functionalities which make up an EMR. The study also looked at Meaningful Use compliance, which it evaluated by by checking whether a given hospital could meet 12 core Meaningful Use criteria.
The study found that between 2008 and 2011, the number of childrens’ hospitals with an EMR grew from 21 percent to 59 percent. But even using 2011 data, only 29 percent of children’s hospitals had demonstrated that they could meet the 12 core criteria used as a Meaningful Use proxy.
All told, EMR adoption rates and Meaningful Use compliance rates were much higher for childrens’ hospitals than for adult hospitals as a whole. However, the results were similar for adult and childrens’ teaching hospitals.
These results square well with an early 2012 report by HIMSS Analytics which looked at Meaningful Use Stage 1 compliance among hospitals. HIMSS found that teaching hospitals were one of the hospital types most likely to have embraced Meaningful Use.
The question, for me, is when childrens’ hospitals are going to step up further in their Meaningful Use efforts. I don’t know about you, but to me 29 percent compliance isn’t terribly impressive.