Adoption rates of electronic health records in Turkish Hospitals and the relation with hospital sizes

Kose I., Rayner J., Birinci S., Ulgu M. M., Yilmaz I., Guner S., ...More

BMC Health Services Research, vol.20, no.1, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12913-020-05767-5
  • Journal Name: BMC Health Services Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ABI/INFORM, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Electronic health records, meaningful use, CPOE, PACS, eMAR, CDSS, EMRAM, HIMSS
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Nation-wide adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) in hospitals has become a Turkish policy priority in recognition of their benefits in maintaining the overall quality of clinical care. The electronic medical record maturity model (EMRAM) is a widely used survey tool developed by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) to measure the rate of adoption of EHR functions in a hospital or a secondary care setting. Turkey completed many standardizations and infrastructural improvement initiatives in the health information technology (IT) domain during the first phase of the Health Transformation Program between 2003 and 2017. Like the United States of America (USA), the Turkish Ministry of Health (MoH) applied a bottom-up approach to adopting EHRs in state hospitals. This study aims to measure adoption rates and levels of EHR use in state hospitals in Turkey and investigate any relationship between adoption and use and hospital size. Methods: EMRAM surveys were completed by 600 (68.9%) state hospitals in Turkey between 2014 and 2017. The availability and prevalence of medical information systems and EHR functions and their use were measured. The association between hospital size and the availability/prevalence of EHR functions was also calculated. Results: We found that 63.1% of all hospitals in Turkey have at least basic EHR functions, and 36% have comprehensive EHR functions, which compares favourably to the results of Korean hospitals in 2017, but unfavorably to the results of US hospitals in 2015 and 2017. Our findings suggest that smaller hospitals are better at adopting certain EHR functions than larger hospitals. Conclusion: Measuring the overall adoption rates of EHR functions is an emerging approach and a beneficial tool for the strategic management of countries. This study is the first one covering all state hospitals in a country using EMRAM. The bottom-up approach to adopting EHR in state hospitals that was successful in the USA has also been found to be successful in Turkey. The results are used by the Turkish MoH to disseminate the nation-wide benefits of EHR functions.