Docs' views of EHRs sharply divided

Doctors' opinions of electronic health records vary significantly, in large part based on their personal experiences, according to a new article in Medscape Business of Medicine.

The article, part of a special report on EHRs, flagged that many physicians have decried EHRs for creating a barrier between physicians and patients, making records unnecessarily complex and annoying, and turning physicians into data entry technicians, with computers telling them how to practice medicine.

It then expressed surprise at the contrasting views that physicians actually hold regarding the systems, evaluating 700 comments made by physicians and other providers to other recent Medscape articles.  

For instance, an article about the use of scribes, which Medscape expected to be embraced as a way to increase revenue and patient interaction, was met with mixed responses. While some physicians extolled the use of scribes, calling them "valuable" and a "godsend," others lamented their use, raising concerns about patient privacy, data recording accuracy and cost.

Another article on EHRs ratings unleashed a torrent of negative comments on EHR systems, such as laments over the overuse of copy-and-paste features, design flaws and difficulty of use, although at least one physician commented that his EHR increased revenue and freed up time.    

The article did not address the overarching driver for the rise in EHR adoption, the Meaningful Use program, and whether the program's design and format has created or exacerbated some of the problems and resulting differences of opinion.

To learn more:
- read the article