Electronic record use up—satisfaction's not

More and more physicians use electronic health records, a new survey finds, but it doesn’t mean they like them.

A Medscape survey of more than 21,000 physicians across 25 specialties finds there’s been a nearly 200 percent uptick in the use of EHRs since 2009. Nearly 75 percent are users with another 20 percent planning to implement a system within the next two years.

But overall, most doctors said their experience with EHRs has been a negative one. More than a quarter of physicians indicated their EHRs have led to decreased productivity, as compared to 23 percent and 15 percent who indicated more efficiency and higher productivity, respectively.

The effects of an EHR on the doctor-patient relationship were also mixed: 36 percent said they were positive, 34 percent said they no impact, and 30 said they was negative. Of doctors who said it had a negative impact, most—at 82 percent—said it was because of less eye contact with the patient and 75 percent said there was less conversational time, survey authors note.

A minority of doctors (23 percent) also said they were concerned with the effect of EHRs on the privacy of patient information. Most physicians said they're dissatisfied with intra-operability and interoperability of their systems.

Of those working with an electronic system, three groups use them more than all others: internists (28 percent), family practitioners (25 percent), and pediatricians (22 percent). The least likely users are those in rheumatology, critical care and plastic surgery.

[Also read "HHS announces second phase of EHR incentive program"]


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