EHRs Cause Physicians To Lose 48 Minutes Per Day, Survey Says

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | September 9, 2014

As a physician, free time is a scarce enough commodity without having to factor in convoluted EHR workflows and frozen computers, but a large number of providers surveyed by the American College of Physicians (ACP) are still reporting significant productivity losses due to their EHR technology.  In a letter published in JAMA this week, participants in the poll reported an average of 48 minutes lost each day to EHR woes including sluggish record retrieval and cumbersome documentation processes.

Researchers from the ACP and National Institutes of Health surveyed more than 400 physicians and trainees from a wide variety of practice types.  The providers used 61 different EHR systems, with three-quarters of the respondents using one of nine most popular products.  Eighty-two percent had been using their EHR systems for more than a year, and 70% reported being familiar with a broad range of functionalities.

Despite the fact that most participants were experienced EHR users, their dissatisfaction with the impact of the technology on their daily workflow was clear.  Just under 90% of participants reported that at least one data management function was slower after implementing an EHR, with 63.9% stating that writing clinical notes took longer with the electronic system.  A third added that finding and reviewing data, including notes authored by other physicians, took longer with the EHR than without...