Doc adoption of EHRs almost universal; satisfaction still mixed

Almost all physicians in the United States have transitioned to electronic health records, according to a new report. 

Of 15,285 doctors surveyed by Medscape across 25 specialties, more than 91 percent say that they use an EHR, up from 74 percent in 2012. Another 2 percent currently are installing a system, while 3 percent say they plan on doing so within the next two years. More than two-thirds (68 percent) use a hospital or health system EHR whether they work within the health system or are in an independent practice. 

Of the EHRs used in hospitals or health system networks, Epic ranks as the top system, with Cerner ranking second.

The erosion of the physician/patient relationship is the “most prominent gripe” by respondents. EHR satisfaction rates dropped a bit; 41 percent say they are somewhat to very satisfied in 2016, compared to 45 percent of respondents who indicated as much in 2012. The number of doctors very dissatisfied jumped from 7 percent in 2012 to 12 percent in 2016.  However, despite “relative dissatisfaction” with most EHRs, 81 percent plan on keeping their current version.

Notably, the number of respondents with no patient privacy concerns dropped from 77 percent in 2012 to only 8 percent in 2016. Only 14 percent have not attested to Meaningful Use in 2016.  

Interestingly, 31 percent of physicians say they use their EHR’s copy and paste functions “often,” while 24 percent do so “occasionally” and 11 percent use it “always.”

“The EHR's copy-and-paste function is controversial," the report notes. "Attorneys say that it creates a host of problems: The possibility of malpractice is increased when comments in the EHR are copied and pasted instead of the physician writing individual comments about a particular patient. This EHR function also makes fraud easier and increases the possibility of inaccuracies."