Survey looks at how much time docs spend charting, how EHRs affect productivity

Yet another industry survey has found that EHRs increase physicians' administrative burdens and decrease their productivity--or at least don't improve it--this time from group purchasing organization Physician's Alliance of America (PAA).

The results mirror other reports that EHRs create additional administrative burdens, which negatively impacts morale. 

The PAA survey of 250 pediatric, family medicine and internal medicine physicians aimed to substantiate anecdotal evidence that EHRs were adversely affecting physicians' business and workflow, according to an announcement.

So how much time are docs spending on charting at the end of the day--in addition to the time they spend charting during patient visits? According to the survey:

  • 7 percent of respondents said they spend no additional time charting at the end of each day
  • 23.4 percent spend between 30 minutes and an hour charting at the end of the day
  • 35 percent of respondents spend at least an hour charting at the end of the day
  • A little more than 9 percent spend at least two hours charting at the end of the day

"I resent this use of my time more than I can say," one respondent commented.

Moreover, 74 percent said their productivity overall was the same or worse with EHRs. Only 9.6 percent said their productivity increased "significantly." About 16 percent said productivity increased "a little."

"And we wonder why clinicians dislike their EHRs," the announcement states. "When 46 percent of users consider their productivity to have decreased and 74 percent say their productivity is the same or worse after expending a great deal of time and money, this 'dislike' should not be a surprise. And now we have some data to substantiate their concerns." 

PAA said it found the results surprising, considering that 85 percent of respondents self-identified as comfortable with technology and 80 percent preferred electronic records to paper ones.    

While more physicians have adopted EHRs, primarily due to the Meaningful Use program, many of them are not pleased with their usability.

The year 2015 marks the first time that more physicians in the market to buy an EHR were looking to replace their existing systems, and that dissatisfaction with their current system was the top reason for the change. 

To learn more:
- access the survey announcement