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Does Your EHR Increase or Decrease Workload and Productivity?

At AmericanEHR Partners we receive a lot of commentary and feedback from clinicians who use EHR systems. Many users describe challenges related to productivity and workload. However, there are also many positive benefits to EHR systems such as the ability to streamline access to documents and reports, the ability to e-Prescribe directly from the EHR and the benefits of remote access to patient records from a remote location or from home.

Comments from users of EHRs include:

  • We love our EHR program and would never go back to the old days of paper. It saves us money and helps us be better doctors.
  • We provide better care, cannot see as many patients, and in the end, earn less money despite the improved efficiencies. In the end, we are providing better care at our expense.
  • We have almost 6 years of experience and there have been many growing pains. I am overall happy with the system but the promises of less work and greater efficiency are not accurate. Within our group there remain high end users, mediums users, and one physician who uses the system minimally. I do not believe that even the high end users are using all the capabilities of the system.
  • As a solo practitioner we are trying to get deeper into the capability of the system, however due to lack of hours in the day it is difficult to schedule. Overall I’m very satisfied with the product and, in retrospect, comparing the final result with other EHRs I feel that the chart is much more professional in appearance and easy to follow.
  • Newer physicians are more likely to enjoy it. Older physicians can work much faster with the methods they are used too. Not enough time for training, because it is expensive… very expensive and productivity in my office has decreased so far. It takes twice as much time to complete patients visit and I see 75 % of the patient now as compared to before.

Reading these comments, the tension between the benefits of EHRs (better quality care, ease of organizing information) and the challenges (reduced productivity, lack of training, cost) is quickly apparent.

What are your experiences using an EHR? Do you feel you received adequate training to use your system? If there were deficiencies that could be corrected that would translate into greater efficiency and productivity, what would these be?

Add your comments and thoughts.

Comments:

One response to "Does Your EHR Increase or Decrease Workload and Productivity?"
  • July 25, 2011
    berkshire Brain Injury & Neurological Services PC
    said:

    I have several issues with EHR. I guess my first question to anyone who reads this is why has all of the implementaion costs/and responsibilites been thrown on the individual physicians? It’s eventually going to be a mandated government/insurance carrier issue. Again, why aren’t physicians asking this basic question, when the tool itself will be used to decrease physician reimbursement in the long run? Who are our advocacy people? As a cognitive neurologist in solo practice, EHR currently is expensive and quite honestly beyond my skill set from an IT stand point. So why is this my solo responsibility?

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