Want a better electronic health record system? Ask a doctor

Doctor with computer and gadgets
Doctors have plenty of ideas for how to improve electronic health records.

Poorly designed electronic health records (EHRs) are the bane of many doctors’ existence.

They’re blamed for an increase in physician burnout and a decrease in physician satisfaction.

“If you were to start from scratch, you wouldn’t come up with the systems we have today,” Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., an associate professor of anesthesiology, surgery, biomedical informatics and health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told Medical Economics.

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Yet those EHRs dominate doctors’ work hours. For every hour physicians spend in exam room visits with patients, they spend nearly two hours on EHRs and desk work during office hours, a study funded by the American Medical Association found.

So it’s no surprise that doctors say they can easily come up with ideas for how to improve EHRs to make them better for them and their staff. Some of the ideas outlined in the Medical Economics article:

Make electronic systems easier to use. Marc D. Price, D.O., a physician at Family Medicine of Malta in New York state, told the publication he must call customer support to produce some reports required by regulators and often must enter the same data multiple times.

Add better analytics to help with value-based care. EHRs could help physicians analyze their records to identify patients who aren’t doing well, said Steven E. Waldren, M.D., director of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Center for Health IT.

Incorporate new technology. EHRs could incorporate mobile technologies, voice recognition, imaging and telemedicine, for example.

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