Many physicians see the use of electronic health record systems as a distraction from patient care, according to a survey by online physician community Sermo and EHR provider athenahealth, Healthcare IT News reports (McCann, Healthcare IT News, 6/14).
For the third annual Physician Sentiment Index, Sermo and athenahealth surveyed 500 physicians from a range of practice specialties and sizes. They asked the doctors how various factors -- such as EHR adoption and the implementation of the federal health reform law -- might affect patient care (Goedert, Health Data Management, 6/14).
According to the survey, 73% of respondents said that EHR systems are a distraction from physician-patient interactions, an increase of 12 percentage points from the 2011 survey.
The survey also found that:
- 80% of respondents said that they have purchased an EHR system, up from 70% in 2011;
- 44% said that EHR systems are not designed with physicians in mind, up from 32% in 2011;
- 32% said that they have a favorable opinion of EHR systems, down from 39% in 2011; and
- 15% said that they believe EHR systems somewhat or significantly worsen patient care, up from 11% in 2011.
Findings on Government Initiatives
About three-fourths of respondents said that the meaningful use program is at least somewhat cumbersome or difficult. Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (Healthcare IT News, 6/14).
Forty-two percent of respondents said they are very or somewhat confident that the transition to ICD-10 will be smooth. U.S. health care organizations are working to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets to accommodate codes for new diseases and procedures (Health Data Management, 6/14).