Does it matter if docs don’t like EHRs?

Does it matter if docs don’t like EHRs?

Physicians are increasingly dissatisfied with their electronic health records. According to a recent survey conducted by the AMA and AmericanEHR Partners, just 34 percent of physicians said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their EHR in 2014, compared to 62 percent in 2010.

While the statistics make for great headlines, should we be alarmed – or even care?

To summarize the findings: 42 percent of physicians thought their EHR’s ability to improve efficiency was difficult to very difficult; 72 percent believed their EHR made it difficult to very difficult to decrease their workload; 54 percent reported that their EHR increased total operating costs; 43 percent claimed they hadn’t overcome productivity challenges related to their EHR.

The survey also revealed a direct correlation between physician satisfaction and the number of years a physician used his/her EHR. For example, among physicians on their system for three years or less, only 25 percent reported any level of satisfaction; satisfaction jumped to 50 percent among physicians that had used their EHR for five or more years.

Over the last five years, EHR adoption has climbed rapidly and created a sizeable pool of novice EHR users. As practices transition to the digital world, productivity typically declines as physicians struggle to learn new software and adapt workflows. Given the complexities of implementing an EHR, it’s hardly surprising that early users are less satisfied. However, if experienced users tend to be more satisfied, it seems reasonable to assume that we’ll see satisfaction scores climb over the next few years.

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