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Doctors Love EHRs–Not

By February 14, 2014Commentary

A survey from Medical Economics probes the intense feelings doctors tend to have about their electronic medical records experience.  The federal “meaningful use” program provided incentives to adopt these systems, but it sounds like many physicians wish they hadn’t.  (EHR Survey)  A very large number are dissatisfied with their current EHR and would like to switch.  The primary cause of dissatisfaction is functionality at 67%, with cost the second most common cause at 48%.  Larger practices are even more unhappy with functionality, 74%, while solo practitioners cite cost more frequently than average, 57%.  The cost has been enormous, with 45% saying they spent more than $100,000 on their EHR and 77% of large practices spending over $200,000.  Despite the meaningful use payments, 65% of respondents said the EHR resulted in financial losses, with 38% saying it was a significant loss.  Only 6% say the EHR led to significant savings.  Doctors are more split on the quality of care impact, with 45% saying the EHR made it worse and 35% saying EHRs improved care.   In regard to care coordination with hospitals, 69% of physicians say the EHR did not improve it.  The systems currently used by doctors get a resounding vote of no confidence, with 63% saying they would not buy their current system again and 73% of larger practices feeling that way.  And many, 38%, don’t even think their current system will remain viable and relevant in five years.   The depth of disillusionment is revealed by the 70% who say their EHR has not been worth the effort and costs, particularly in regard to the negative effects on workflow and productivity.  So the EHR movement has really been a resounding success as far as doctors are concerned!!

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