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Survey of clinicians: User satisfaction with electronic health records has decreased since 2010

March 5. 2013 -- Survey results released today indicate that satisfaction and usability ratings for certified electronic health records (EHRs) have decreased since 2010 among clinicians across a range of indicators. Overall, user satisfaction fell 12 percent from 2010 to 2012. Users who are "very dissatisfied" increased 10 percent during the same time period.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) and AmericanEHR Partners revealed the findings in a presentation, "Challenges with Meaningful Use: EHR Satisfaction & Usability Diminishing," at the 2013 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition. AmericanEHR Partners provides comprehensive information to support clinicians in the selection and use of EHRs to improve health care delivery. It was founded by ACP and Cientis Technologies.

"Dissatisfaction is increasing regardless of practice type or EHR system," said Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, who leads ACP's Medical Practice, Professionalism & Quality division. "These findings highlight the need for the Meaningful Use program and EHR manufacturers to focus on improving EHR features and usability to help reduce inefficient work flows, improve error rates and patient care, and for practices to recognize the importance of ongoing training at all stages of EHR adoption."

The findings are from 4,279 responses to multiple surveys developed and analyzed by ACP and AmericanEHR Partners between March 2010 and December 2012. Of the clinicians who responded to the surveys, 71 percent were in practices of 10 physicians or less and 82 percent of respondents intend to participate in Meaningful Use incentive programs, up from 65 percent in 2010.

Additional key findings from the surveys include:

  • The percentage of clinicians who would not recommend their EHR to a colleague increased from 24 percent in 2010 to 39 percent in 2012.

  • Clinicians who were "very satisfied" with the ability for their EHR to improve care dropped by 6 percent compared to 2010 while those who were "very dissatisfied" increased 10 percent. (Surgical specialists were the least satisfied group. Primary care physicians were more satisfied than medical subspecialists.)

  • 34 percent of users were "very dissatisfied" with the ability of their EHR to decrease workload -- an increase from 19 percent in 2010.

  • Survey responses also indicated that it is becoming more difficult to return to pre-EHR implementation productivity. In 2012, 32 percent of the responders had not returned to normal productivity compared to 20 percent in 2010.

  • Dissatisfaction with ease of use increased from 23 percent in 2010 to 37 percent in 2012, while satisfaction with ease of use dropped from 61 to 48 percent.


Contact: Megan Hanks
American College of Physicians

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