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Friday, October 18, 2013

It Seems Physicians In The US Are Not Happy With Their EHR Systems.

Coverage of this issue appeared last week after a RAND Corporation Report. First we have.

Docs 'stressed and unhappy' about EHRs

Posted on Oct 09, 2013
By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor
While physicians recognize the benefits of electronic health records, they also complain that many systems deployed nowadays are cumbersome to use and often act as obstacles to quality care, according to a new report from RAND Corporation.
The study makes the case that being able to provide high-quality healthcare is a primary driver of job satisfaction for doctors, and that anything that hinders that ability is a source of stress. RAND officials say the findings suggest potential early warnings of deeper quality problems developing in the U.S. healthcare system.
"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," said Mark Friedberg, MD, 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 findings are from a project, sponsored by the American Medical Association, designed to identify influences on doctors' professional satisfaction – a snapshot of physician sentiment as the U.S. healthcare system moves toward new delivery and payment models.
Docs who were surveyed expressed concern that current EHR technology interferes with face-to-face discussions with patients, requires physicians to spend too much time performing clerical work and degrades the accuracy of medical records by encouraging template-generated notes, according to the RAND report.
In addition, they worry that the technology has been more costly than expected, and cited frustrations about poor EHR interoperability, which prevents the transmission of patient data when and where it's needed.
"Physicians believe in the benefits of electronic health records, and most do not want to go back to paper charts," said Friedberg in a press statement. "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."
Lots more here:
Also we have:

EHRs, Red Tape Eroding Physician Job Satisfaction

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , October 9, 2013

Problems with electronic health records systems and the overall burden of rules and regulations imposed by payers and other entities are having a deleterious effect on the professional satisfaction of medical doctors, survey results find.

Physicians are most satisfied when they deliver high quality care to their patients, but problems with electronic medical records and red tape are hindering their practices, a multi-state survey shows.
The RAND Corp. report was commissioned by the American Medical Association and surveyed hundreds of physicians in six states to identify the factors that influence professional satisfaction. The survey found that only 20% of physicians said they want to return to paper medical records.
Most physicians, however, expressed deep frustration with costly and overly complicated EHRs that have fallen far short of their promise to improve practice efficiency.
"This is a vexing problem," Mark Friedberg, MD, the study's lead author at RAND, said Tuesday at an AMA teleconference.
"Physicians like some aspects of their EHR and the vast majority prefer EHR to paper. However, physicians also report that EHRs are not nearly as good as they can and should be. The priority, our study suggests, is to rapidly improve EHR usability and functionality."
Friedberg says the survey findings also suggest that dissatisfied physicians "could be seen as canaries in the coal mine for quality as an early indicator of potential problems with quality in the healthcare system."
"Most prior studies have conceptualized physician professional satisfaction as mattering because it may lead downstream to higher quality and better experiences for patients and patient care," he says. "Our findings at least suggest an alternative reason to really care about physician professional satisfaction by reversing the causal and thinking of professional satisfaction as actually an indicator of quality of care rather than something that is necessary for quality of care to occur."
Lots more here:
Seems there is a fair bit of work to do in the US. I wonder have we done a similar survey here? Does anyone know? It would be fascinating.

1 comment:

BEC Emergency Systems said...

Hi David,

Thanks for this post. Reading the RAND report and your commentary inspired a follow-up post by us with some ideas to improve physician (and nurse) satisfaction with EHRs (http://blog.bestevidencesystems.com/2013/10/21/why-doctors-dont-like-their-ehrs/).

Thanks again!