Health IT

What do physicians hate about EHRs? (infographic)

Not surprisingly, usability has been the No. 1 issue. Clinicians complained most about the time they wasted documenting cases or looking at a computer screen rather than their patients.

Remember the Let Doctors Be Doctors campaign that athenahealth started in October, in concert (well, music video) with Zubin “ZDoggMD” Damania? The company was hoping to hear from physicians about poorly designed electronic health records, and, presumably, generate more sales.

So far, Watertown, Massachusetts-based athenahealth has reported more than 65,000 visits to the campaign’s website, and collected upwards of 700 posts. The vendor summarized its findings to date a new infographic.

LDBD Infographic

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Not surprisingly, usability has been the No. 1 issue. Clinicians complained most about the time they wasted documenting cases or looking at a computer screen rather than their patients.

Surprisingly, perhaps, was how few cited lack of interoperability as a failing of EHRs, given the focus policy-makers and pundits have put on that issue of late. Could it be that in a fee-for-service world, practitioners aren’t terribly concerned if they have to order duplicate tests because they aren’t able to get results from elsewhere? Are they placated by faxed referral notices and discharge summaries?

As was the case when Let Doctors Be Doctors launched, there were some critics, including in the comments section of our coverage, who noted that athenahealth already had received its cut, through increased sales, of the more than $30 billion in federal Meaningful Use incentive money.

According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 14,770 healthcare professionals using athenahealth EHRs had either participated in Meaningful Use or used the services of an ONC Regional Extension Center, as of March 2015. (athenahealth’s market share among hospitals is negligible.)

At a maximum of $44,000 per individual provider in the Medicare side of Meaningful Use or $63,750 for those participating in the Medicaid incentive program, athenahealth users have been eligible for tens of millions in subsidies since 2011.