The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog on Friday highlighted an interesting statistic from a recent Health Affairs study: In 2009, just 2 percent of hospitals  would have qualified for the government's definition of "meaningful use" of electronic health records — the set of standards finalized this year that many health care providers are rushing to meet by 2011 in order to qualify for the government's first round of reimbursement for health information technology systems.
What percentage of hospitals will hit the mark next year? Think 20 percent:
It’s actually not surprising that hospitals were slow to adopt new systems in 2009, given the horrible economic conditions, difficulty of raising money for capital investments and uncertainty over what the final government requirements would be. “I’d be shocked if we didn’t see an uptick in 2010 and an even bigger one in 2011,” Jha tells the Health Blog. “But are we going from 2% to 40%? No. We might go from 2% to 5% [in 2010] to 15% or 20% in 2011.”