Physician opinions on electronic health records appears to be generally positive, according to the results of a new survey published by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Thirty-eight percent of the survey's 3,088 respondents reported that they're "highly satisfied" with their systems, while 37 percent said that they "liked" their EHR.
The survey focused on user satisfaction with the 31 EHR products most used by the respondents. It concentrated on 17 different aspects of EHRs, such as ease of learning the system, how well alerts worked, and how easy it was to attain Meaningful Use.
Respondents were most satisfied with how EHRs facilitated intra-office messaging and tasking (60 percent), finding information (58 percent), documenting (57 percent) and electronic prescribing (56 percent). The lowest satisfaction rates were in the areas of productivity, the ability to focus on patient care and vendor support.
Of the 31 vendors studied, Praxis ranked the highest in terms of physician satisfaction, followed by Medent, HealthConnect, Amazing Charts and SOAPware.
Kenneth Adler, M.D., coauthor of the survey report, said that the purpose of the survey was to help physicians make the best technology decisions for their practices.
"Making a poor choice can have a hugely negative impact on a practice," he said.
He added that when making such decisions, physicians need to take into account issues that they deem most important, rather than simply following the advice of a rankings system.
"Do your homework and tread carefully," Adler said.
The AAFP's survey is the latest in a long line of EHR satisfaction reports, all of which seem to differ from one another in some way.