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AAFP: Physicians Forced to Switch EHRs, Unhappy With New Systems

January 21, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The American Academy of Family Physicians Family Practice Management Journal has released a report that said doctors are being forced to switch electronic health records (EHRs) and there is widespread dissatisfaction among physicians who have switched.

Most respondents claim that their new EHR does not improve productivity, and only 39 percent of physicians are happy with their new systems.  Physicians cite revenue, productivity losses and traumatizing EHR transitions.

Among the reasons behind switching EHRs, respondents reported that the change was often not by choice, but was forced upon them.  Physicians are quoted: "We were forced to [change EHRs] as part of the larger organization. [The] decision to switch was made at executive level. [It was a] business decision by hospital owner attracted to the product's billing and financial reporting, not driven by clinical users' interests."  

The survey states, "Those who were personally involved in making the switch tend to look more favorably on their new system than those who did not make their own decision... Of the 140 respondents who said they were involved in the decision to change systems, 61 percent are happy with their new EHR; of those not involved in the decision, only 19 percent are happy with their new EHR."

The authors of the report add, “While our sample is too small to suggest winners and losers in the EHR marketplace, we do see some suggestive numbers.  EpicCare Ambulatory and Praxis had the most net gains in customers among our respondents," they explain.  However, when user satisfaction was compared between the two EHRs, the difference was compelling.  Praxis eclipsed Epic and outranked all other systems.

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