Data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on the use of electronic medical records in health care were published in the May 13, 2005, issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The full report is available online athttp://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad353.pdf.
According to the NCHS, electronic medical records were used most frequently in the emergency department, followed closely by outpatient departments. Electronic medical records were used less frequently in physician offices. About 73 percent of physicians used the technology for billing patients, 17 percent for maintaining medical records, and 8 percent for ordering prescriptions. The technology was used for automated drug dispensing systems in 40 percent of emergency departments but only in 18 percent of outpatient departments. See the accompanying figure for results by setting.