States With the Most MDs Going Digital

information technology adoption and utilization has been pushed for years now in the health industry, but the rate can vary greatly from state to state. How does your state compare?

Health information technology adoption and utilization has been pushed for years now in the health industry. Electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic prescriptions are supposed to reduce errors, increase efficiency and improve adherence, thus, saving money in an industry that spends a lot.

According to an Accenture Doctors Survey from the beginning of May, American physicians increased their use of health care information technology by 24% from 2011 to 2012. That puts them just behind Singapore with the second-largest year-over-year increase.

However, it can be argued that adoption throughout the U.S. has been slow going, for a variety of reasons. Physicians have been very unhappy with their current EMR systems, for instance and one in five believes there is a high likelihood they will change systems. Setting up a system can be expensive, and can reduce productivity, and costs will only add on if the physicians and their practices decide to switch vendors.

So adoption and frequent utilization of EMRs and e-prescribing has been slow, and, apparently, it also varies greatly from state to state, according to a new Bloomberg report.

Plus, widespread use of EMRs doesn’t necessarily translate to e-prescription utilization as Bloomberg reveals. For instance, although Utah has one of the highest rates of basic EMR adoption, the percent of physicians there using systems to e-prescribe medicine is actually lower than some of the states with the worst EMR adoption rate.

These states, boasting the highest EMR adoption rates, have the most high-tech docs.

5. Utah

Salt Lake City

In 2012, 60.8% of office-based doctors used basic EMRs. In the same year, 35% of physicians actively used systems for electronically prescribing medications.

4. Massachusetts

Copley Square, Boston

In 2012, 61.8% of office-based doctors used basic EMRs. In the same year, 77% of physicians actively used systems for electronically prescribing medications.

3. North Dakota

Grand Forks

In 2012, 63.2% of office-based doctors used basic EMRs. In the same year, 67% of physicians actively used systems for electronically prescribing medications.

2. Minnesota

Downtown Minneapolis

In 2012, 66.7% of office-based doctors used basic EMRs. In the same year, 72% of physicians actively used systems for electronically prescribing medications.

1. Wisconsin

Racine. Copyright Jeremy Atherton

In 2012, 70.6% of Wisconsin's office-based doctors used basic EMRs. In the same year, 67% of physicians actively used systems for electronically prescribing medications.