Basic electronic health record (EHR) adoption in **Türkiye is nearly complete but challenges persist

Creative Commons License

Köse İ., Cece S., Yener S., Seyhan S., Özge Elmas B., Rayner J., ...More

BMC Health Services Research, vol.23, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12913-023-09859-w
  • Journal Name: BMC Health Services Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ABI/INFORM, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: EHR adoption, Electronic medical record, EMRAM, Health informatics, HIMSS
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: The digitalization studies in public hospitals in Türkiye started with the Health Transformation Program in 2003. As digitalization was accomplished, the policymakers needed to measure hospitals’ electronic health record (EHR) usage and adoptions. The ministry of health has been measuring the dissemination of meaningful usage and adoption of EHR since 2013 using Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM). The first published study about this analysis covered the surveys applied between 2013 and 2017. The results showed that 63.1% of all hospitals in Türkiye had at least basic EHR functions, and 36% had comprehensive EHR functions. Measuring the countrywide EHR adoption level is becoming popular in the world. This study aims to measure adoption levels of EHR in public hospitals in Türkiye, indicate the change to the previous study, and make a benchmark with other countries measuring national EHR adoption levels. The research question of this study is to reveal whether there has been a change in the adoption level of EHR in the three years since 2018 in Türkiye. Also, make a benchmark with other countries such as the US, Japan, and China in country-wide EHR adoption in 2021. Methods: In 2021, 717 public hospitals actively operating in Türkiye completed the EMRAM survey. The survey results, deals with five topics (General Stage Status, Information Technology Security, Electronic Health Record/Clinical Data Repository, Clinical Documentation, Closed-Loop Management), was reviewed by the authors. Survey data were compared according to hospital type (Specialty Hospitals, General Hospitals, Teaching and Research Hospitals) in terms of general stage status. The data obtained from the survey results were analyzed with QlikView Personal Edition. The availability and prevalence of medical information systems and EHR functions and their use were measured. Results: We found that 33.7% of public hospitals in Türkiye have only basic EHR functions, and 66.3% have extensive EHR functions, which yields that all hospitals (100%) have at least basic EHR functions. That means remarkable progress from the previous study covering 2013 and 2017. This level also indicates that Türkiye has slightly better adoption from the US (96%) and much better than China (85.3%) and Korea (58.1%). Conclusions: Although there has been outstanding (50%) progress since 2017 in Turkish public hospitals, it seems there is still a long way to disseminate comprehensive EHR functions, such as closed-loop medication administration, clinical decision support systems, patient engagement, etc. Measuring the stage of EHR adoption at regular intervals and on analytical scales is an effective management tool for policymakers. The bottom-up adoption approach established for adopting and managing EHR functions in the US has also yielded successful results in Türkiye.