Surveyed Physicians: EHR Systems are “Too Cumbersome” | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Surveyed Physicians: EHR Systems are “Too Cumbersome”

October 9, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

Physicians are not big fans of electronic health records (EHRs), saying they are too cumbersome to operate and a big reason for their job dissatisfaction, a new survey from the Santa Monica, Calif.-based nonprofit research organization, the RAND Corporation, reveals.

The survey, sponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA), was the findings of RAND Corporation's research of 30 physician practices in six states — Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. In total, researchers spoke with 220 physicians, medical administrators and allied health professionals, in an attempt to understand the motivating factors for job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in a physician’s life.

“Many things affect physician professional satisfaction, but a common theme is that physicians describe feeling stressed and unhappy when they see barriers preventing them from providing quality care,” stated Mark Friedberg, M.D. the study's lead author and a natural scientist at RAND. “If their perceptions about quality are correct, then solving these problems will be good for both patients and physicians.”

The study found that physicians are down on current EHRs. According to the physicians, the systems interfered with face-to-face discussions with patients, forced physicians to spend too much time performing clerical work, and degraded the accuracy of medical records by encouraging template-generated notes. Furthermore, physicians say the systems are too costly and don’t allow them to “talk” to each other, preventing the transmission of patient medical information when it is needed.

“Physicians believe in the benefits of electronic health records, and most do not want to go back to paper charts,” Friedberg said. “But at the same time, they report that electronic systems are deeply problematic in several ways. Physicians are frustrated by systems that force them to do clerical work or distract them from paying close attention to their patients.”

Medical practices surveyed said they employ additional staff members to perform many of the tasks involved in using electronic records to quell the frustration. This helps doctors' focus their interactions with EHR on activities truly requiring a physician's training.

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

Topics

News

KLAS Research: Small Hospitals’ Buying Decisions Impacting EMR Market Share

A new KLAS Research report tracks shifts in electronic medical record (EMR) vendor market share among acute care hospitals, and finds that smaller hospitals are seeking technology solutions that meet their needs and limited budgets, and these contracts are making a mark on the EMR market.

Survey: Majority of Providers Predict Success for New Generic Drug Company, Project Rx

Back in January, four health systems, in consultation with the VA, announced a collaboration to develop a new, not-for-profit generic drug company. A survey has found that 90 percent of providers say they would become customers of the new venture.

Personalized Medicine Awareness Low Among U.S. Adults, Survey Finds

Genetics and personalized medicine are not top of mind for the general public in the U.S., according to a recent survey from GenomeWeb and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).