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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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