Basic EHR Adoption In Non-Federal Acute Care Hospital Triples From 2009 to 2012

Adoption of at least a basic electronic health record (EHR) system by non-federal acute care hospitals has almost tripled since 2009, according to a data brief released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. In 2012, 44 percent of such hospitals had adopted at least a basic EHR system, up from 9.4 percent in 2008. State rates of EHR adoption varied greatly, from 21 to 71 percent in 2012.

Hospital Rates

The rate of non-federal acute care hospitals possessing EHR technology that has been certified as meeting federal requirements for some or all of the hospital objectives of meaningful use increased from 72 to 85 percent between 2011 and 2012.

The data brief also analyzed EHR adoption based on functionality: comprehensive, basic with clinician notes, and basic without clinician notes, each differing based on the number of electronic functions required. The data brief reported that hospital adoption of comprehensive EHR systems increased sixfold since 2009, from 2.8 to 16.9 percent.


Hospital adoption of EHR systems varied significantly by state; state rates for hospitals adopting at least a basic EHR system ranged from 21 percent in New Hampshire to 70.6 percent in South Dakota. At 26 percent, New Mexico and Kansas also had among the lowest rates of adoption of at least a basic EHR system. Twelve states’ 2012 adoption rates were significantly higher than the national average of 44 percent: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The data brief noted that most of the states with high adoption rates were in the Midwest.


The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 authorized payment incentives to both eligible professionals and hospitals if they adopt and meaningfully use EHR technology. According to CMS, eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 over five years through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and up to $63,750 through the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.