Mitch Morris, MD, of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions discusses the results of the firm’s latest survey of U.S. physicians:
Three out of four physicians surveyed report that EHRs increase costs and do not save them time. This survey is not alone in its findings: Through another recently released survey, Clem McDonald and colleagues found that physicians say that EHRs “waste an average of 48 minutes per day.”
But those of us working with hospitals and physicians on a regular basis don’t need a survey to tell us things are not quite right. Just look at the rapidly growing profession of scribes — people who follow around doctors taking down their observations for recording in an EHR. Meaningful Use? Really?
So how did we get to the point where, despite an inspiring vision; prodigious investments of time and money; advances in computational and interface abilities; and more than 900 exhibitors each year at the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, many in the physician community still believe we have relatively little to show in the way of a true value-add?
Maybe it’s because the government has spent almost $30 billion inducing physicians and hospitals to install EHRs that satisfy the government’s needs, instead of the needs of patients or providers. I suspect the benefits of EHRs would have advanced much farther if the government had not subsidized the enterprise at all.