Health Information Technology   Electronic Health Records  

Overview

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (law) was enacted to improve health care delivery and patient care through an investment in heatlh information technology (health IT).  The law included provisions to promote adoption of certified electronic health records (EHR) through financial incentives.  This federal policy has been key in spurring digitization in health care.  A decade later, health care providers are using electronic data and analytics to improve quality outcomes.  The promise of EHRs to improve patient care, decrease medical errors, and reduce costs is challenged by the need for more robust interoperability between different information systems across care settings.  The Promoting Interoperability Programs (formerly known as Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs or Meaningful Use) seeks to prioritze interoperability and patient access to their health information.  Other federal efforts like the enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act in 2016 covers many aspects of health care, one of which includes enhancing interoperability by discouraging information blocking and creating a reporting system on EHR usability, functionality, and security.

EHR Adoption at a Glance

The MHCC conducts environmental scans of EHR adoption in the State. The following chart details EHR adoption rates by care setting in Maryland and the nation.

EHR Adoption Rates

Care Setting 

Maryland

Nation 

 Acute Care Hospitals (2015)

100

96 

 Dentists (2018)

60 

56 

 Nursing Homes (2017)

91

66 

 Office-Based Physicians (2017)

74

80

Notes: Maryland data is self-reported and has not been audited for accuracy;National data was obtained from publically available sources

The following resources include more information about the current state of helath IT in Maryland with some national comparisons:

Additional Resources

  • Health IT Playbook  
    Designed by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to help practices in selecting and implementing health IT, including best practices for EHRs and other health IT-related topics. 
  • Promoting Interoperabillity (PI) Programs
    Renamed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in April 2018 with new focus on improving health data exchange. 
  • The Quality Payment Program (QPP)
    Puts into place key aspects of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) using a framework that rewards health care providers for quality, and combines existing quality reporting programs (i.e., PQRS, value-Based Modifier, and Meaningful Use).
  • Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT)
    EHR standards and other criteria established by CMS and ONC that are required for participation in the PI Programs and other quality reporting programs.

Last Updated: 11/14/2019