American EHR Partners notes that Electronic Health/Medical Records (EHR/EMR) means much more work for physicians. In clinics that have implemented an EHR, doctors often spend considerable time working after-hours in the clinic, or at home in the evenings.
This feedback is not limited to specific EHRs but tends to be a more general issue. The following comments were among those submitted by physicians who completed AmericanEHR Partners’ survey on EHR satisfaction:
- ”I can get through my day, but I spend an extra hour to two hours longer at the office than I used to prior to our implementation of the EHR. This is really bothersome to me.”
- ”It makes a 15-minute visit take 2–3 times as long. I’m not sure I’ll everbe able to get back to my pre-EMR volume. Some nights, if I have a meeting after work, I’m up working on charts until 1 am! And that’s only working at 80% of my previous patient volume! There has to be a better way… talk about burnout.”
- ”Radiology reports are now coming across through an interface, but we are unable to see images — for this we must log onto a remote desktop for the hospital in a separate application. I am routinely having to finish charts at home after work.”
Has EHR Increased Your After-Hours Workload?
(9 nov 2012)
The comments for the blog post are unequivocal. By prescribing a very specific way of work in every case, EHRs both waste time and produce so much trivial and redundant information that the critical parts becomes very hard to find:
- ”I consider it extremely important to choose an EMR system that does not require a specific work-flow to produce each chart note. Not all visits require a review of Family History, for example. However, many systems require you to at least click through a variety of screens if only to accept their entries.”
- ”I certainly feel that this is the case. (I am finishing some up this weekend!) Meaningful use has added multiple lists I need to click through, including re-affirming all office visits even after I dictate.”
- ”Pages and pages of repetitive nonsense and the actual life saving information is not there! We are aproaching the EHR tower of Babylon, where communication is impossible.”
Some even long for the paper days:
”Occasionally we have a patient come to the office from the pre-EHR (3 yrs ago) days. For them, we are first handed the old paper chart from the back room files before beginning their note.
What a difference! The paper charts were simple, accurate, quick, and streamlined. All the things the behemoth “Practice Partner” system claimed to be. I long for the days of the paper chart.
The sad fact is that EMR in its present state is inefficient, dangerous, and uses 3 times more paper than our paper system ever did. It is the perfect example of what happens to a system when it is overtaken by bureaucrats and self-serving paper pushers.”