Physicians Yearn for (EHR) Independence Day
The Fourth of July fireworks are over for another year, but physicians’ battle for EHR independence continues. To be clear, this is not a fight to rid healthcare of EHRs – nearly every provider acknowledges there are strong merits to digitizing patient records – and turn back the clock to the paper era. Rather, physicians seek to free themselves from the encumbrances of EHR-driven workflows that don’t sync well with patient care.
According to Deloitte’s 2016 Survey of U.S. Physicians, three out of four physicians believe EHRs increase practice costs, outweighing any efficiency savings, and seven out of 10 think EHRs reduce their productivity. American Medical Association former president Dr. Steven Stack states that EHRs are the number one frustration of doctors today. A recent physician survey from a leading hospital company revealed that physician satisfaction with EHRs is only in the 20 to 30 percent range. No other industry would accept customer satisfaction rates at this level.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. A recent report presented to ONC confirmed that healthcare technology has started to improve care quality and safety across a wide range of settings and applications, though not to the extent that the industry had hoped for.
In order to realize the full potential of healthcare digitization, the industry must begin to rethink how it operates in a digital world. Getting this right is going to take time, creativity and some missteps. Over the next few years, it will produce the EHR independence that physicians crave, while providing the advantages of digitized patient records and clinical decision support that can contribute to better healthcare outcomes.