Physicians Report Declining Satisfaction with EHRs

This post is excerpted from an article, Physicians Report Declining Satisfaction with EHRs, from the American Academy of Family Physicians. The report was sent to us by Dr. Larry Pivnick, who authored a report on electronic health records.

“During the past decade, America’s physicians — particularly, family physicians — have invested lots of money and countless hours in implementing electronic health record (EHR) systems. Some physicians eagerly dived into the EHR pond; others were pushed by government initiatives, such as meaningful use, that were intended to spur technology uptake but that have become increasingly burdensome to physicians.”

[I]n 2010, 61 percent of respondents said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their EHRs, compared with just 34 percent in 2014.
Of physicians who responded to the 2014 survey,

  •  55 percent said it was difficult or very difficult to use their EHR to improve efficiency,
  •  72 percent said it was difficult or very difficult to use their EHR to decrease workload,
  •  54 percent indicated that their EHR system increased their total operating costs, and
  •  43 percent said they had not yet overcome productivity challenges associated with implementation of their EHR.

“From the physicians’ perspective, it appears that the significant investment in EHR system(s) over the past few years in the United States is failing to offer significant returns. Far from helping physicians to operate efficiently and have more time to spend with patients, the opposite appears to be the case.”

Source: Physicians Use of EHR Systems 2014

Comments (3)

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  1. John Fembup says:

    Not really a surprise.

    My PCP was skeptical about EHR from the start. My cardiologist was a bit more hopeful – perhaps because he hoped it would enable transmission of more accurate, complete, and faster information to him from PCPs & maybe pharmacies.

    So both my physicians were willing to give it a try. But based on exam-room conversation it appears neither physician now believes the reality caught up with the promises. As a result, their willingness is evaporating.

    The report from AAFP suggests my physicians are not alone – that they have a lot of company in their attitude toward the questionable emerging value of EHR.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    I’ve talked to PCPs who said learning EMRs was really a productivity killer. If they felt that way, I suspect their patients were especially irritated by their doctor struggling with pull down menus; and multiple screens that required input that wasn’t necessarily in the same order it was received from the patient.

    What would be most irritating for me would be all the data that has nothing to do with patient care — but that public health advocates want collected so they can parse it later (and use to support claims that doctors aren’t doing their jobs for all patients appropriately).