RAND Survey Finds Physician Discontent With EHR Systems

March 14, 2014 in News

Problems related to electronic health record systems ranked as one of the top two areas of professional dissatisfaction among doctors, according to a RAND survey, U.S. News World Report reports.

Survey Details

The survey was conducted by the RAND Corporation, with support from the American Medical Association.

Researchers conducted 108 in-person interviews and received 447 written responses from physicians in in six states:

  • Colorado;
  • Massachusetts;
  • North Carolina;
  • Texas;
  • Washington; and
  • Wisconsin.

Survey Findings

The survey found that 80% of physicians had no desire to return to paper records but that many doctors expressed frustration with the state of their organizations’ EHRs (Brink, U.S. News World Report, 3/11).

The surveyed physicians identified several EHR-related concerns, such as:

  • Excessive electronic alerts and messages;
  • Interference with clinical workflows;
  • Interruption of face-to-face patient care;
  • Lack of efficiency; and
  • Time-consuming data-entry.

Physicians also expressed frustration with EHR systems’ lack of interoperability and health information exchange with outside providers.

In addition, providers noted concerns about the potential misuse of EHRs’ template-based notes.

AMA Efforts

In a RAND blog post, Mark Friedberg — a RAND natural scientist and practicing general internist — noted that AMA has taken several steps to increase physicians’ satisfaction with EHRs.

For example, AMA has said it will:

  • Assist physicians in becoming better at purchasing and using EHRs to boost practice efficiency and enhance physician-patient “face-time;”
  • Work with federal regulators to address usability concerns;
  • Work with lawmakers to increase the ability of practices to use office support personnel to decrease EHR-related clerical burden on physicians;
  • Work with federal regulators to reduce the number of EHR certification requirements to allow vendors to increase their focus on improving the suability and functionality of their systems; and
  • Work jointly with EHR vendors and user communities to improve usability (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 3/13).
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