Healthcare leaders seek add-ons to optimize EHRs, reduce burnout
- A majority of healthcare leaders plan to adopt additional technologies to enhance the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and ease clinician burnout, according to a survey commissioned by Nuance Communications and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.
- While 83% of respondents expect their organization will realize their EHR’s full benefits, 68% said that adopting new technology and tools would improve clinician satisfaction. Other strategies being used for more satisfaction include clinician training and education (82%) and enhancing existing technology (75%).
- Meanwhile, an American Medical Association (AMA) official cautioned at HIMSS17 that health IT vendors must do a better job integrating apps and other digital tools into EHRs to reduce the time clinicians spend on administrative tasks, Healthcare IT News reports.
Michael Hodgkins, AMA vice president and chief medical information officer, argues doctors are spending twice as much time on administrative work and on EHRs than on seeing their patients. That burden is compounded by the more than 200,000 healthcare platforms and apps available to doctors and patients, though the benefits for many have not been proven, he said. Health IT vendors need to tap into the physician community to understand their wants and needs in designing new healthcare solutions, he added.
The Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017 found more than half of all U.S. physicians are experiencing burnout and the worst reported stressors continued being related to bureaucratic tasks and EHR use. Yet 70% of respondents in a 2016 Vocera survey reported their organizations did a poor or extremely poor job at supporting clinicians and preventing burnout.
To optimize EHR use, roughly a quarter of the survey respondents said they plan to introduce new technologies at the point of care this year. These include mobility tools (44%), computer-assisted physician documentation (38%) and speech recognition (25%). Respondents also pointed to a number of areas that would benefit from better clinical documentation, including data capture for reimbursement (66%), reduction in denied claims (54%), improved performance under bundled payments (52%).
There is still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to EHRs' user friendliness, though some systems are more satisfactory than others. In an EHR satisfaction survey last year, Epic ranked No. 1 with a score of 7.7 out of 10. Too many clicks was the most common complaint, followed by poor interoperability and annoying alerts.