Report: EHRs Contribute to Physicians’ Job Dissatisfaction

September 15, 2014 in News

Most physicians believe electronic health records can improve care, but ineffective and complex EHR systems contribute to high levels of job dissatisfaction among physicians, according to a report by the American Medical Association and the RAND Corporation, EHR Intelligence reports (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 9/12).

Details of Report

For the report, researchers analyzed the results of surveys completed between January 2013 and August 2013 by doctors at 30 physician practices in six states:

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

Of the 30 practices, 28 were using EHRs at the time.

Survey Findings

Overall, researchers found that:

  • 61% of respondents said EHR use improved quality of care;
  • 43% said they agree or strongly agree that EHRs slow them down; and
  • 35% said they agreed or strongly agreed that EHRs improved their professional satisfaction.

However, the report found that EHRs in their current state largely decrease physician satisfaction. Respondents cited several elements of EHR use that contributed to dissatisfaction, including:

A Lack of interoperability;

  • Degradation of clinical documents;
  • Interruption to face-to-face patient care;
  • Less fulfilling work; and
  • Time-consuming data-entry processes.

In particular, EHR systems with functions like reminders, alerts and secure messaging decreased professional satisfaction. According to the report, this is likely due to the complexity of such systems (AMA/RAND report, September 2014).

The report concluded, “Physicians believe in the benefits of electronic health records,” but improved usability must be “an industrywide priority” (EHR Intelligence, 9/12).

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