Small Medical Practices Register Meteoric Rise in EHR Adoption


It seems solo and small medical practices have decided to take the plunge in a big way – recent statistics reveal that small practices have been able to half-bridge the gap with their larger cousins, whose EHR penetration stands at an impressive 80% since the EHR became mandatory under “Meaningful Use Clause” in 2011.

Remarkably, the growth of around 40% has come about all of sudden – not so long ago, small medical practices had a single-digit adoption rate. What is even more interesting is that larger practices could add only 5% to their growth during this momentous rise by smaller medical practices. Within small practices, practices with less than two physicians are relatively ahead of practices with 6 to 10 physicians. Penetration of this scale could not have come about without valid reasons.

Many believe the government’s incentive program and funding of the regional extension centers – which are helping to train smaller practices – to have helped boost small practitioners’ confidence. Credit should also to go EHR vendors, who seem to have shifted their focus to smaller segments. These two factors may have helped small practitioners’ overcome cost, training, and implementation inhibitions.

There has also been considerable improvisation in EHR technology – technology is becoming more portable, less expensive, customized, easier to operate and maintain. Small practices now have choices as against standardized versions initially. This may have considerably influenced their decision in favor of EHR adoption.

Significantly, hosting has become unbelievable easy – small practices can now rely on cloud-based EHRs, which essentially help doing away with all those difficulties associated with Onsite hosting. Moreover, small practices have begun forming pools as a means to optimize the investment on EHR hosting – a remote hosting facility is entrusted with the task of hosting the entire pool’s customized EHRs. The advantage of this form of hosting is that small practices are saved from investing individually on hosting infrastructure facility. This too may have hastened the decision on EHR implementation.

Above all, small practices seem to have been convinced of EHRs ability to dramatically improve clinical and operational functions. News of EHR’s catalytic effect on large practices’ revenues must have been a great motivator.

Despite all these positives, small practices’ EHR implementation has not been all that easy – there have been challenges in terms of deciding on proper vendors, training internal staff, resource mobilization, and integrating with external clinical and operational network. While they deserve to be applauded for their commendable progress, the remaining portion may well face similar roadblocks. Medical billing service providers, being the vital cog in the EHR adoption, will have a huge role to play in helping the rest of the small practitioners to make right decisions on vendor, training internal staff, resource mobilization, and integrating with external clinical and operational network. – which is a leading consortium for mediating the entire range of medical billing services – has already begun its catalytic effect on small practices’ EHR implementation. It is distinguished by extensive knowledge of medical billing domain, strategic partnership with EHR manufacturers and vendors, and payers. While small practices in few states may already have felt its catalytic advantage, – with resource mobilization to rest of the 50 states – hopes to bring about complete EHR compliance.

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