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Ophthalmology. 2008 Sep;115(9):1591-7; quiz 1597.e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2008.03.024. Epub 2008 May 16.

Adoption and perceptions of electronic health record systems by ophthalmologists: an American Academy of Ophthalmology survey.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.



To assess the current state of electronic health record (EHR) use by ophthalmologists, including adoption rate and user satisfaction.


Population-based, cross-sectional study.


A total of 592 members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) participated.


A total of 3796 AAO members were randomly selected on the basis of geography and solicited to participate in a study of EHR adoption. Among those solicited, 392 members completed a web-based version of the survey and 200 members completed a telephone-based version. The survey included sections assessing the current level of EHR adoption, the value of various EHR features, the practice demographics, and, for participants with an EHR, the details of their system. Responses were collected and analyzed using univariate statistical tests.


Current adoption rate of EHRs, user satisfaction with EHRs, and importance of various EHR features to both users and nonusers.


Overall, 12% of the practices surveyed had already implemented an EHR, 7% were in the process of doing so, and another 10% had plans to do so within 12 months. Both EHR users and nonusers rated the same EHR features as having the most value to their practices, and the 2 groups rated options for simplifying the EHR selection process similarly. Among those with an EHR in their practice, 69% were satisfied or extremely satisfied with their system, 64% reported increased or stable overall productivity, 51% reported decreased or stable overall costs, and 76% would recommend an EHR to a fellow ophthalmologist.


The adoption rate of EHRs by ophthalmology practices is low but comparable to that seen in other specialties. The satisfaction of those ophthalmologists already using an EHR is high. Because EHRs are part of the rapidly changing health information technology marketplace, the AAO Medical Information Technology Committee is planning to update these results on a regular basis.

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