The rise of electronic health record adoption among family physicians

Imam M. Xierali, Chun Ju Hsiao, James C. Puffer, Larry A. Green, Jason C.B. Rinaldo, Andrew W. Bazemore, Mathew T. Burke, Robert L. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


PURPOSE Realizing the benef ts of adopting electronic health records (EHRs) in large measure depends heavily on clinicians and providers' uptake and meaningful use of the technology. This study examines EHR adoption among family physicians using 2 different data sources, compares family physicians with other off ce-based medical specialists, assesses variation in EHR adoption among family physicians across states, and shows the possibility for data sharing among various medical boards and federal agencies in monitoring and guiding EHR adoption. METHOD We undertook a secondary analysis of American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) administrative data (2005-2011) and data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) (2001-2011). RESULTS The EHR adoption rate by family physicians reached 68% nationally in 2011. NAMCS family physician adoption rates and ABFM adoption rates (2005-2011) were similar. Family physicians are adopting EHRs at a higher rate than other off ce-based physicians as a group; however, signif cant state-level variation exists, indicating geographical gaps in EHR adoption. CONCLUSION Two independent data sets yielded convergent results, showing that adoption of EHRs by family physicians has doubled since 2005, exceeds other off ce-based physicians as a group, and is likely to surpass 80% by 2013. Adoption varies at a state level. Further monitoring of trends in EHR adoption and characterizing their capacities are important to achieve comprehensive data exchange necessary for better, affordable health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of family medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • American board of family medicine
  • Electronic health record
  • Family physicians
  • National ambulatory medical care survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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