While 91 percent of physicians use an EHR system, more than half feel it negatively affects their interactions with patients, according to a new Medscape survey.
Medscape polled more than 15,000 physicians across 25 specialties between June and August 2016.
Ninety-one percent of respondents said they used an EHR system, up from 74 percent in a similar 2012 survey. Sixty-three percent of respondents worked in a hospital of health system that uses EHRs, 33 percent worked in an independent practice with its own EHR system, and 5 percent worked in an independent practice that utilized a hospital EHR system.
Just 4 percent indicated they did not use EHRs and did not intend to begin doing so within the next two years.
Most popular EHRs
In all, Epic was the most widely used EHR system, used by 28 percent of respondents, up from 22 percent in the 2012 survey. About 40 percent of hospitals and health systems used Epic, compared with 4 percent of independent practices.
The second and third most-used EHR systems were:
- Cerner, used by 10 percent of respondents, up from 9 percent in 2012; and
- eClinicalWorks, used by 7 percent of respondents, up from 6 percent in 2012.
The respondents also rated their overall satisfaction with their EHR systems, including the systems' ease of use, vendor support, and usefulness as a clinical tool. The highest-ranked EHR systems on a one-to-five scale, with five being the highest, were:
- Veterans Affairs Computerized Patient Record System (VA-CPRS) (with a score of 3.65);
- Epic (3.45); and
- Practice Fusion (3.44);
- MEDENT (3.44); and
- Amazing Charts (3.39).
Within specific performance areas, Amazing Charts ranked first for ease of use, Practice Fusion ranked first for satisfaction, MEDENT ranked first for vendor support, and VA-CPRS ranked first for connectivity and for usefulness as a clinical tool.
Overall, 81 percent of respondents indicated they planned to keep their existing EHR system. About 40 percent of respondents were either very or somewhat satisfied with their EHR vendor, while about 27 percent were somewhat or very dissatisfied.
A majority of respondents said EHRs had improved clinical documentation, while only about a third said they had improved patient service, clinical operations, or bill collections.
Meanwhile, more than half of respondents said EHRs had reduced the number of patients they could see or the amount of time they can spend face-to-face with patients. Respondents' answers about EHRs' effects on workflow varied by age: About half of providers under 30 reported having a less efficient workflow due to their EHR. The number increased with the age of providers, reaching 71 percent of providers over the age 65.
Providers also expressed concern about the security of EHR systems. Fifty-seven percent reported being concerned their EHR could lead to unauthorized access to patient information, and 60 percent reported being concerned about hacking and misuse of information (Jayanthi, Becker's Hospital CFO, 8/26; Peckham et al., Medscape, 8/25).
Why the EHR life cycle is just like raising a child
A successful EHR system requires budget, resources, and planning—not only before it goes live, but after as well.
In fact, the process of implementing, deploying, maintaining, and optimizing an EHR system is similar to that of raising a child—each stage of the process requiring a unique subset of people to ensure its success. Learn more about the seven stages of the EHR life cycle in this infographic.