More EHR Disillusionment Data
Yet another report is out this week that highlights the shortcomings of EHRs. According to an AMA-funded study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, for every hour physicians spend in exam room visits with patients, they spend nearly two hours on electronic health record and desk work during office hours – and there’s even more administrative time spent after-hours.
Sadly, these findings are not surprising, nor particularly news. In an e-book published by PatientKeeper earlier this year, we wrote that doctors today are less productive than they were before, and IT is the culprit. To be clear: doctors are not doing less or more; they’re doing the same things and spending more time on them. Rather than enabling a better, more streamlined workflow, IT has become a burden.
Of course, information technology should enhance the healthcare experience, not hinder it. In order for us to deliver the kind of holistic care that will truly improve people’s health, it’s time not only to talk about the potential of IT, but to make it a reality for users and providers across the healthcare continuum. We have today what 10 years ago was called a supercomputer in front of physicians — a device that knows virtually everything about the patient — but it isn’t helping out in ways we take for granted in our everyday lives when we shop online, use Google Maps or order an Uber.
Computers can, must, and will provide that kind of support in healthcare – there are glimmers of it today — but the as yet unanswered questions are: What will it ultimately look like? And when will it become mainstream? There’s no doubt many physicians are eager for a meaningful technology transformation to occur, just as assuredly as they’re unhappy with today’s EHR status quo.