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International survey: 69 percent of US primary care doctors now have electronic medical records
Date:11/14/2012

New York, NY, November 15, 2012Two-thirds (69%) of U.S. primary care physicians reported using electronic medical records (EMRs) in 2012, up from less than half (46%) in 2009, according to findings from the 2012 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, published as a Web First online today in the journal Health Affairs. Primary care physicians in the U.S.the only country in the study without universal health coveragestand out in the survey for reporting that their patients often cannot afford care (59%). By comparison, between 4 percent and 25 percent of physicians reported affordability problems for their patients in Norway (4%), the U.K. (13%), Switzerland (16%), Germany (21%), and Australia (25%). Moreover, more than half of U.S. doctors (52%) said insurance restrictions on their care decisions are a major time concernby far the highest rate in the 10-country survey. U.S. physicians also were the most negative about their country's health system, with only 15 percent agreeing the health care system works well.

The survey of nearly 8,500 primary care physicians in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, finds that communication and teamwork across the health system is a challenge in all countries. In each, only a minority of primary care doctors reported always receiving timely information from specialist physicians after referring patients to them; in the U.S., just 11 percent of physicians said they had such information available when it was needed. And from one-third to more than half of doctors across countries said they are not always notified when their patients leave the hospital.

In the study, "A Survey of Primary Care Doctors in Ten Countries Shows Progress in the Use of Health Information Technology, Less in Other Areas," the U.S. stands out for having the lowest rates of after-hours care: one-third (34%) of U.S. phys
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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