American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Survey Information Technology Supplement, 2008-present. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) National Ambulatory Care Survey (2008-2011) and National Electronic Health Record Survey (2012-present)


Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. ‘National Trends in Hospital and Physician Adoption of Electronic Health Records,’ Health IT Quick-Stat #61.

Trends in Hospital & Physician EHR Adoption

As of 2021, nearly 4 in 5 office-based physicians (78%) and nearly all non-federal acute care hospitals (96%) adopted a certified EHR. This marks substantial 10-year progress since 2011 when 28% of hospitals and 34% of physicians had adopted an EHR.

Year Hospitals Office-based Physicians
2008 9% 17%
2009 12% 22%
2010 16% 28%
2011 28% 34%
2012 44% 40%
2013 59% 48%
2014 97% 74%
2015 96% 78%
2016 96% 78%
2017 96% 80%
2018 96% 79%
2019 96% 72%
2021 96% 78%

Measures of EHR adoption differ over time. In 2008-2013 “basic EHR” is used as the measure of EHR adoption and in 2014-present “certified EHR” is used as the measure of EHR adoption. In 2016, the NEHRS survey was not conducted and thus estimates were carried over from 2015.  ^In 2019, unlike prior years, a large percentage of physicians indicated "Don't Know" (15%). However, it is likely that some of these physicians have certified EHR technology so the 72% is an underestimate. In 2021, NEHRS results for office-based physicians showed a more consistent trend with data collected from 2015-2018, compared to 2019. We believe high rates of “Don’t know” responses to the 2019 survey question may have underestimated the rates of EHR adoption for that year.

Basic EHR:  Hospitals have adopted a basic electronic health record system with clinician notes when the main site of the hospital includes a computerized system with capabilities in the following areas: patient demographics, physician notes, nursing assessments, patient problem lists, electronic lists of medications taken by patients, discharge summaries, advanced directives, orders for medications, viewing laboratory results, and viewing radiology results. Physicians adopted a Basic EHR if they reported their practice performed all of the following computerized functions: patient demographics, patient problem lists, electronic lists of medications taken by patients, clinician notes, orders for medications, viewing laboratory results, and viewing imaging results.

Certified EHR:  Hospitals and physicians have adopted a certified electronic health record system if the EHR technology meets the technological capability, functionality, and security requirements adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hospitals: Non-federal acute care hospital

Office-based physicians: Office-based; principally engaged in patient care activities; non-federally employed; not in specialties of anesthesiology, pathology, or radiology; and younger than 85 years of age at the time of the survey.