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Survey: EHR Satisfaction Declines Steadily

March 11, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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According to a survey from the American College of Physicians (ACP), user satisfaction of electronic health records (EHRs) has decreased steadily since 2010. The study, from 4,279 responses to multiple surveys developed and analyzed by ACP and AmericanEHR Partners, found that user satisfaction has fallen 12 percent from 2010 to 2012, while the number of those who say they are “very dissatisfied” has increased 10 percent during the same time period.

“Dissatisfaction is increasing regardless of practice type or EHR system,” Michael S. Barr, M.D., head of ACP’s medical practice, professionalism & quality division, said in a statement. “These findings highlight the need for the Meaningful Use program and EHR manufacturers to focus on improving EHR features and usability to help reduce inefficient work flows, improve error rates and patient care, and for practices to recognize the importance of ongoing training at all stages of EHR adoption.”

The biggest issues revolve around workflows, ease-of-use, and how the systems can improve care. The survey also found that the percentage of clinicians who would not recommend their EHR to a colleague increased from 24 percent in 2010 to 39 percent in 2012. Clinicians who were “very satisfied” with the ability for their EHR to improve care dropped by 6 percent compared to 2010 while those who were “very dissatisfied” increased 10 percent. Thirty-fourt percent of users were “very dissatisfied” with the ability of their EHR to decrease workload -- an increase from 19 percent in 2010.

Survey responses also indicated that it is becoming more difficult to return to pre-EHR implementation productivity. In 2012, 32 percent of the responders had not returned to normal productivity compared to 20 percent in 2010.

The survey comes a few weeks after EHRs, and the Meaningful Use program, were put under the spotlight with a highly controversial New York Times piece that suggested the industry's vendors were a boondoggle for the legislation.

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Better titled, 'DIDSATISFACTION' of EHR. Being a terminated RN for failing to activate a planned state order, I have very few positive out comes for EHR. It has always been a problem that doctors don't communicate effectively with nurses. NOW it has become a bigger problem. As one knowns, working on a med-surg floor is extermely busy even if you have great priority/organization skills. Doctors come and go quitly on a med-surg floor and if you are lucky to catch a glimpse of one you would know to check the patient(s) chart for orders or now check your new EHR for orders. But many doctors don't enter new orders into the EHR while they are still on your unit's floor. They wait until they get back to the hospital doctor's lounge or their office. So how often is a nurse to stop thier work and continuously check for new orders. Some doctors are good in calling the nurse by phone for heads-up on new orders they have entered. Some doctors ask the nurse if they would enter thier new orders into the system for them. Many doctors have a problems entering orders into the EHR, specially if the orders are complex. Orders can be entered as plane state (many orders into one)ie surgery orders. You must activate these orders to make them active. The other order(s) can be entered as active and wiil flow onto the nurses active screen. The plan state orders are in another part of the computer program. With my termination, I checked for any orders when I assumed my patients. There were none. I than started my AM assesments and medications. Appearently an order was submitted in a planned state for one of my patients during this AM. Three hrs into the shift they were calling for this patient for surgery. I failed to prep this patient. Although I continuously checked for orders, I failed to go back into this other area and checked for any planned orders. I known for a fact the many nurses miss orders for thier patients. Some are late, some are never carried out. There are many problems with this new EHR system. Nurse now spend so much more time working on the EHR then they do with their patients. I know this EHR will never leave. But the communication(s)between doctor and nurse is going to have to be enhanced.

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