Snapshot: The State of Health Information Technology in California, 2008

Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher: California HealthCare Foundation


Research Area: Health

Type: Brief

Coverage: California


Despite efforts to increase the adoption and use of information technology in health care by the federal and state governments, the potential to improve care through electronically stored and shared clinical information remains largely a promise, with nearly three-quarters of medical groups in California still relying on paper records. The State of Health Information Technology in California, the first comprehensive look at HIT adoption in the state, reveals that large majorities of physician practices, hospitals, clinics, and long term care facilities, as well as patients, are still far from realizing the benefits of HIT. Reasons for the slow pace of adoption range from implementation costs to concerns about security and confidentiality. Highlights from the snapshot include:

*Just 12% of California physicians use alerts to warn them about potential adverse drug events, receive electronic warnings about abnormal lab results, and send reminder notices to patients about regular or preventive follow-up care. *Only 25% of hospitals are using bar-coding technology fully for tracking lab specimens and only 13% have implemented EHRs. *Most patients who do not communicate with their physicians online are concerned that their privacy might be compromised if they were to use the Internet for this purpose.