Health information technology adoption in California community health centers

Katherine K Kim, Robert S. Rudin, Machelle D. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: National and state initiatives to spur adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchange (HIE) among providers in rural and underserved communities have been in place for 15 years. Our goal was to systematically assess the impact of these initiatives by quantifying the level of adoption and key factors associated with adoption among community health centers in California.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional statewide survey.

METHODS: We conducted a telephone survey of all California primary care community health centers (CHCs) from August to September 2013. Multiple logistic regressions were fit to test for associations between various practice characteristics and adoption of EHRs, meaningful use-certified EHRs, and HIE. For the multivariable model, we included those variables which were significant at the P = .10 level in the univariate tests.

RESULTS: We received responses from 194 CHCs (73.5% response rate). Adoption of any EHRs (80.3%) and meaningful use-certified EHRs (94.6% of those with an EHR) was very high. Adoption of HIE is substantial (48.7%) and took place within a few years (mean = 2.61 years; SD = 2.01). More than half (54.7%) of CHCs are able to receive data into the EHR indicating some level of interoperability. Patient engagement capacity is moderate, with 21.6% offering a PHR, and 55.2% electronic visit summaries. Rural location and belonging to a multi-site clinic organization both increase the odds of adoption of EHRs, HIE, and electronic visit summary, with the odds ratio ranging from 0.63 to 3.28 (all P values < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: Greater adoption of health information technology (IT) in rural areas may be the result of both federal and state investments. As CHCs lack access to capital for investments, continued support of technology infrastructure may be needed for them to further leverage health IT to improve healthcare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e677-e683
JournalThe American journal of managed care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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