News Feature | September 1, 2015

Physician's Opinions Of EHRs Worsen

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

HTO Frustrated Doctor

Physician satisfaction with EHRs has not improved over the last five years. In fact, experts say the situation has actually gotten worse.

EHRs have been defined as cumbersome and, even with advances in technology, they still tend to cause doctors stress and are problematic in hospitals. A recent survey from American Medical Association and AmericanEHR Partners notes that, while 61 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their EHRs five years ago, only 34 percent said the same now.

“While EHR systems have the promise of improving patient care and practice efficiency, we are not yet seeing those effects” said Shari Erickson, MPH, Vice President of ACP’s Division of Governmental Affairs and Medical Practice in a statement. “We need to focus on figuring out how we can help physicians and practices to more effectively implement and use these systems.”

According to iHealth Beat, the survey found:

  • 42 percent of respondents described their EHR system’s ability to improve efficiency as difficult or very difficult
  • 43 percent of respondents said they were still addressing productivity challenges related to their EHR system
  • 54 percent of respondents said their EHR system increased total operating costs
  • 72 percent of respondents described their EHR system’s ability to decrease workload as difficult or very difficult

Fierce EMR reports that of the 940 physicians surveyed, primary care physicians were happier with their EHRs than specialists. Researchers believe this could be attributed to the fact that they’ve used their systems for a longer period of time and note that it takes at least three years for physicians to see the benefits of EHRs.

“Perhaps we are getting over the curve in EHR adoption,” said Erickson. “It may be that as we see more practices that have been using these systems longer we will see satisfaction begin to rise.”