The case for adoption of medical records is compelling. The use of EHR systems opens the door to opportunities for federal incentives. Furthermore, EHR systems can help protect healthcare organizations from fines while maintaining compliance. Additionally, when chosen, implemented, and used appropriately, EHR systems can make healthcare more efficient, less expensive, and improve the quality of care by making patients’ medical history easily accessible to all who treat them.
Over the last ten years, provider adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) has grown significantly. Healthcare providers are expected to document encounters with patients to ensure a record of crucial information. However, just a decade ago around 90% of physicians still updated their patient records by hand. By the end of 2014, the tide had changed, and 83% of physicians reported they had adopted EHR systems. The combination of government incentives, advances in technology and improved outcomes and operations has fueled this growth.
The last two decades have seen significant consolidation among health systems, hospitals, and private medical practices. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) encouraged mergers and acquisitions in order to decrease healthcare spending by eliminating duplication, standardizing treatment protocols, and incentivizing better utilization. As a result, there has been a surge of Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity in healthcare since the ACA became law.