Monday, July 18, 2016

A doc's office is still an office

Mary K. Pratt, writing in Medical Economics, says a new study of what physicians think of the electronic health record (EHR) and their computerized environment shows they are not thrilled.

Not only did they have a low opinion of the EHR, but the EHR was not making them more efficient.

The computerized provider order entry system (CPOE) was also not a hit.

"Unintended negative consequences," muttered one of the study's authors, a hematologist at Mayo.

The study was published in the July Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Only 36% of the 5,358 responding doctors using EHRs were satisfied or very satisfied, and 43.7% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

Ouch.

On the CPOE (where the docs write orders and send out prescriptions), 4,847 physicians responded and only 38.1% were satisfied or very satisfied, while 41.9% were not.

The same went for whether these systems improved patient care. Only 36% said yes, 41% did not think so.

Only 23% thought these systems improved efficiency.

The president of the American Academy of Family Physicians was not shocked. She herself, she says, would sit for 10-20 minutes watching the little spinning circle. She also thinks it's "heartbreaking" to turn her back on patients to type.

Docs also spend hour entering info into these systems.  Improvements need to come at a faster clip.

Efficiency can be improved by using medical scribes to enter info, having nurses answer patient emails, and other steps.

I once had an eye surgeon would not not type--or could not--I never knew. He used a voice system and while I sat there he would try to make the darn thing spell...He would go "try again," try again..."

It was ridiculous.

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