Prevalence of electronic health records in U.S. hospitals

Jean M Abraham, Jeff S. McCullough, Stephen T Parente, Martin S. Gaynor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This work provides prevalence estimates for electronic health record (EHR) systems within U.S. hospitals in 2008. Specifically, we identify the set of information technology (IT) applications that provide the technological pre-conditions for hospitals' achievement of meaningful use. We estimate a set of descriptive and multivariate analyses to identify the organizational attributes that are significantly related to EHR adoption. In addition to considering IT applications individually, we consider the cumulative adoption by hospitals. Our results suggest that most U.S. hospitals continue to lack the technological pre-conditions for achieving meaningful use. Approximately 72% of hospitals had adopted three or fewer of these key applications. Furthermore, we observe some evidence of complementarities between IT and other production inputs. Finally, ownership status, system affiliation, and geographic location are all significantly related to IT adoption. These results provide a useful benchmark for pending IT investments resulting from health reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-142
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of healthcare engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Health economics
  • Health information technology
  • Health reform
  • Hospital behavior
  • Technology adoption


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