Primary care doctors spend more than 50% of workday on EHR tasks, American Medical Association study finds

doctor time efficiency
Primary care doctors spend more than half their workday on EHR tasks, according to a new study.

Primary care physicians spend more than half of their workday interacting with electronic health records, a new study found.

Those doctors are spending almost six hours on EHRs, both during and after clinic hours, according to research from the American Medical Association and the University of Wisconsin, which was published in Annals of Family Medicine.

During a typical 11.4-hour workday, primary care doctors spend 4.5 hours on EHR tasks while in the office and an additional 1.4 hours per day outside of clinic hours, in the early morning or after 6 p.m., including 51 minutes on the weekend.

Conference

13th Partnering with ACOS & IDNS Summit

This two-day summit taking place on June 10–11, 2019, offers a unique opportunity to have invaluable face-to-face time with key executives from various ACOs and IDNs from the entire nation – totaling over 3.5 million patients served in 2018. Exclusively at this summit, attendees are provided with inside information and data from case studies on how to structure an ACO/IDN pitch, allowing them to gain the tools to position their organization as a “strategic partner” to ACOs and IDNs, rather than a merely a “vendor.”

“This study reveals what many primary care physicians already know—data entry tasks associated with EHR systems are significantly cutting into available time for physicians to engage with patients,” David O. Barbe, M.D., the AMA’s president, said in an announcement. “Poorly designed and implemented EHRs have physicians suffering from a growing sense that they are neglecting their patients and working more outside of clinic hours as they try to keep up with an overload of type-and-click tasks.”

RELATED: Study—EHRs bloat clerical workload for docs

Those clerical and administrative tasks associated with EHRs are among the causes of rising rates of physician burnout. The study said the number of hours physicians spend daily on EHR systems contributes to work-life imbalance, dissatisfaction, high rates of attrition and burnout rates exceeding 50%.

RELATED: EHRs, hectic work environment drive family doctors' burnout

An AMA study released last year found that for every hour physicians spend in exam room visits with patients, they spend nearly two hours on EHR and desk work during office hours.

Suggested Articles

Humana is teaming up with telehealth company Doctor on Demand to launch a new virtual care model focused on primary care.

As doctors welcome the CDC’s clarification of its opioid guideline, the authors of that guideline say medical professionals had misapplied the recommendations.

Physicians remain skeptical about artificial intelligence, and only 20% say AI has changed the way they practice medicine, according to a recent survey.