Posted By Monique Dever On September 15, 2014

When it comes to EHR adoption, where does public health rank?

When it comes to the adoption of EHR software, the answer to the question “Who’s making the switch?” might surprise you—or not.


Of course, more and more providers are implementing EHRs today—78 percent of office-based physicians used some type of EHR system in 2013, up from 18 percent in 2001—but who has been the most likely to onboard this technology?


According to the National Association of County and City Officials’ (NACCHO) annual report 2013 National Profiles of Local Health Departments, local health departments (LHDs) are slow to get on board. In 2013 just 22% of LHDs have implemented an EHR system, up from just 19% from 2010. The number of LHDs that have not even begun to look into an EHR system is a bit higher at 32%. Considering the time crunch for incentives payouts, this seems to be a slow growth process.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, hospital-owned organizations are leaders of the pack for EHR adoption, at 70.7 percent. Non-hospital-owned organizations make up 58.8 percent of adopters. 71.4 percent of health system-owned sites have adopted EHRs, as compared to 59 percent of non-health system-owned sites.

By specialty, here’s who ranks at the top (and bottom) of the EHR adopters list:

Top adopters Bottom adopters
Dialysis (80.6 percent) Addiction Medicine (44 percent)
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics (75.8 percent) Bariatrician (40.6 percent)
Nephrology (70.5 percent) Psychiatric (39.7 percent)
Pathology (69.4 percent) Holistic Medicine (37.2 percent)
Radiology (69.2 percent) Preventative Medicine (35.9 percent)
Local Health Departments (22 percent)


What about adoption by geography? Do you know which states have been most or least likely to adopt?

Top states Bottom states
Utah (71.6 percent) New York (54.6 percent)
South Dakota (71.2 percent) Louisiana (54.1 percent)
Wyoming (71 percent) District of Columbia (53.6 percent)
Iowa (70.8 percent) New Jersey (53 percent)
North Dakota (69.2 percent) Rhode Island (52.1 percent)


To see the above results (and more) in an infographic, visit:


Patagonia Health’s Take

Obviously, it’s good that even in the least-electronic states, more than half of providers are using an EHR. But, there’s still a long way to go until everyone is on-board and experiencing the many benefits that an EHR has to offer.


Want to know what an EHR can do for your workflow? Visit or email today.


About Monique Dever

Monique integrates research and networking with her passion for health and well-being to provide important, up-to-date news, resources and current events to the public health communities. She is the Marketing Executive for Patagonia Health, an Electronic Health Records (EHR) software company focused on the public health sector.