Study: Multitasking EHR Use Compromises 30 Percent of Patient Visit Time | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: Multitasking EHR Use Compromises 30 Percent of Patient Visit Time

July 10, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Multitasking EHR use—when the technology is used during the same time as when a clinician or patient is talking during a visit—compromised more than 30 percent of visit time, according to research recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

For the study, 35 patient-clinician visits were reviewed in primary care and specialty care settings. To set up the research, the study’s authors noted that clinicians may sometimes use EHRs (electronic health records) in silence (defined for this purpose as using the technology without talking for more than three seconds), risking lowering patient satisfaction; or by multitasking while talking to patients.

The observational study (2013 to 2015) included five primary and specialty safety-net clinics transitioning from basic to fully-functional EHRs. The final analysis included 25 clinicians and 25 patients with visits after a fully functional EHR was implemented in the practice. The median length of each visit in the study was 20.6 minutes.

Among the 35 visits between 25 patients and 25 clinicians, the findings revealed that multitasking EHR use compromised 30.5 percent of visit time; silent EHR 4.6 percent; multitasking non-EHR tasks 4.3 percent; and focused patient-clinician talk 33 percent.

Clinicians’ EHR use during patient visits has frequently been studied and has been a point of significant discussion of late, as many have stated that technology has negatively impacted the provider-patient relationship. A very recent survey in fact, as reported by Healthcare Informatics Associate Editor Heather Landi, indicated widespread agreement among physicians that maintaining electronic health records undermines their connection with patients.

However, hospital-based physicians cited different reasons than their office-based counterparts. The findings of that survey showed hospital-based physicians commented most frequently that they spend less time with patients because they have to spend more time on computers; office-based physicians commented most frequently on EHRs worsening the quality of their interactions and relationships with patients.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Survey: Infrastructure, Interoperability Key Barriers to Global HIT Development

A new survey report from Black Book Research on global healthcare IT adoption and records systems connectivity finds nations in various phases of regional electronic health record (EHR) adoption. The survey results also reveal rapidly advancing opportunities for U.S.-based and local technology vendors.

Penn Medicine Opens Up Telehealth Hub

Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine has opened its Center for Connected Care to centralize the health system’s telemedicine activities.

Roche to Pay $1.9B for Flatiron Health

Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Roche has agreed to pay $1.9 billion to buy New York-based Flatiron Health Inc., which has both an oncology EHR and data analytics platform.

Financial Exec Survey: Interoperability Key Obstacle to Value-Based Payment Models

Momentum continues to grow for value-based care as nearly three-quarters of healthcare executives report their organizations have achieved positive financial results from value-based payment programs, to date, according to a new study from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

Cerner, Children's National to Help UAE Pediatric Center with Health IT

Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital, the only pediatric hospital in the United Arab Emirates, has entered into an agreement with Washington, D.C.-based Children's National Health System to form a health IT strategic partnership.

Telemedicine Association Names New CEO

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has named Ann Mond Johnson its new CEO, replacing Jon Linkous who stepped down suddenly last August after 24 years as the organization’s CEO.