Use of electronic health record systems by office-based pediatricians

Christoph U. Lehmann, Karen G. O'Connor, Vanessa A. Shorte, Timothy D. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 accelerated the abstract implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) in pediatric offices. We sought to determine the prevalence and functionalities of EHRs, as well as pediatricians' perceptions of EHRs.

METHODS: An 8-page self-administered questionnaire was sent randomly to 1621 nonretired US members of the American Academy of Pediatrics from July to December 2012. Responses were compared with a similar survey in 2009.

RESULTS: The percent of pediatricians, who are using EHRs, increased significantly from 58% in the 2009 survey to 79% in 2012. Only 31% used an EHR considered to have basic functionality, and only 14% used a fully functional EHR. Providers with equal or greater than 20% public insurance patients (threshold for meaningful use eligibility) were more likely to have an EHR. Solo/2-physician practices were least likely to have adopted an EHR. Younger physicians were more likely to consider an EHR important to quality care and perceived the presence of an EHR as more important in recruiting.

CONCLUSIONS: The number of office-based pediatricians who are using an EHR has steadily risen to almost 80%. EHR cost and reduction in productivity remain serious concerns. Despite the widespread adoption of EHRs by pediatricians, only few use a basic or fully functional EHR and even fewer have added pediatric functionality. There is a role for the EHR certification process to advance functionalities used by pediatricians and to increase efficiency, data exchange capability, and general EHR functionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e7-e15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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