Healthcare IT News: Regenstrief study shows EHRs underperforming for primary care

“A primary care physician may care for 2,500 or more patients in a given year, and many of their patient encounters may last only 20 minutes – much of which is often spent at a computer with a back turned to the patient.”

“It’s become a truism by now that electronic health records are often viewed askance by primary care docs, many of whom see them as detrimental to the patient encounter. But a new report from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University details just how outpatient EHRs are often failing the physicians who use them.”

“WHY IT MATTERS

The new study, Electronic Health Records’ Support for Primary Care Physicians’ Situation Awareness, contends that EHRs ‘are not rising to the challenges faced by primary care physicians because EHRs have not been designed or tailored to their specific needs,’ according to researchers.”

“The report, published in Human Factors, the Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, draws on eight years of close study of EHR use patterns to argue for wider acceptance of ‘human factor approach for the design or redesign of EHR user interfaces.'”

“Funded by the Human Factors Engineering Directorate in the Office of Health Informatics at, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the study was led by Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist April Savoy, a health services researcher and human factors engineer.”

“As researchers see it, many EHRs as currently configured make it too difficult for primary care docs to do their job in a streamlined and efficacious manner – requiring navigation through multiple screens and tabs to find basic information, increasing redundancy and decreasing efficiency…”

“The study traces the roots of the challenge to the fact that many EHRs were initially designed for specialists and hospitals – without much attention to the specific needs of primary care physicians, ‘whose effective decision-making is grounded in perception and comprehension of a patient’s dynamic situation…'” Read the full article here.

Source: Regenstrief study shows EHRs underperforming for primary care – By Mike Miliard, June 22, 2021. Healthcare IT News.

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