Practitioners vent EHR concerns in newspaper op-eds

Tired of suffering in silence, physician practices are turning to the editorial pages of their local newspapers to publicize their concerns with their electronic health records.

Cathy Poole, an internal medicine practitioner in High Point, N.C., penned an op-ed article in the News & Observer on June 6 that was highly critical of her practice's EHR. She suggested that the "E" stands for "enemy," and noted that after 10 months of use, her practice has yet to experience improved efficiency and safety. She called her practice "far more fortunate than most," and outlined problems others in North Carolina are having with implementation.

Two days later, The Marietta Times in Ohio published a letter to the editor written by Marie Ralston, FNP, from Barlow. The letter was an open appeal to her patients to be understanding about not being able to treat as many patients as it used to during its EHR transition. Ralston acknowledged the long wait times and delays, and admitted that the clinicians are not computer savvy, calling the transition a "struggle."

"We want nothing more than to continue providing care to patients," Ralston wrote. "We will gradually increase out appointments as we gain knowledge of this new system."

Such public expressions of concern from the physician community mirror those noted in recent surveys that found many physicians dissatisfied with their EHR systems. One of the most recent studies found that physician EHR satisfaction decreased to 54 percent from 63 percent two years earlier.

To learn more:
- read the News & Observer op-ed article
- here's the Marietta Times letter to the editor