Why Doctors Aren’t For the Idea of Implementing Electronic Health Records
Huge strides have been taken in the realm of technology. One noticeable advancement is the discovery and utilization of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in the healthcare industry. Before the dawn of EHR, all documents were 100% paper-based (Cowie et al., 2017). The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) has been trying to convince healthcare professionals that despite paper record-keeping being widely accepted, simple, and not costing a fortune to implement, electronic records can bring about a positive impact in the healthcare sector (Birkhead, Klompas, & Shah, 2015). The message the association has been trying to pass over the years is that paper records limit the industry because of limited accessibility, costly storage, lack of remote access of files remotely, and illegibility (Evans, 2016). Health facilities that have adopted EHR have had an easier time organizing and accessing patient data. The processes have been more efficient and quicker. However, a considerable number of physicians still do not like EHR because of the reasons discussed in the following piece.
Reasons Why Physicians Are Hesitant When It Comes To EHR
Even though the government has been doing everything to convince physicians to adopt electronic health records, physicians have remained skeptical because of the issue of physician burnout (Eberts & Capurro, 2019). This is a prevalent issue in the modern medical landscape. More than fifty percent of clinicians have encountered burnout, which involves lower client satisfaction, decreased patient safety, an increase in malpractice claims, and an unhealthy working climate for healthcare professionals. Recent studies have indicated that EHRs have led to physician burnout as a result of the burden brought about by an unfriendly user interface. When dealing with clerical entries, electronic health records demand quite a substantial amount of time. Unlike before, physicians spend less time having one-on-one communication with patients. That hinders a meaningful conversation between the professional and the patient. That, in turn, decreases the quality of patient care, lowers job satisfaction, and increases stress.
The Cost Involved
The action of implementing EHRs into the workplace places a significant load on the providers and practice (Hossain, Quaresma, & Rahman, 2019). It is a financial burden for practices, especially when it comes to independent practices. These establishments have weaker financial muscle than larger institutions, which have more resources at their disposal. Apart from purchasing EHR software, they also have to invest in experienced IT professionals for training and support. For effective utilization of the system, a lot of time has to be invested. The training may take quite a while, and all that does is minimize the time that would have been spent providing patient care. If physicians have trouble understanding and adopting the system, it will lead to errors that will definitely give way to poor patient care (Eberts & Capurro, 2019). Despite the tool being intended to improve the quality of care and communication, it may lead to a totally different outcome.
Interoperability between various systems is one of the biggest problems associated with Electronic Health Records (Eberts & Capurro, 2019). For a clinician to acquire a perfect picture of a patient’s health condition, they need to learn about their medical history. For that to happen, the systems involved have to be functioning properly and communicating effectively with one another. Lack of interoperability was still associated with paper record-keeping and proved to be a huge issue. It is still a problem that the new EHR system has been unable to eradicate. That has contributed greatly to the skeptical nature of physicians.
References for Why Doctors Aren’t For the Idea of Implementing Electronic Health Records
Birkhead, G. S., Klompas, M., & Shah, N. R. (2015). Uses of electronic health records for public health surveillance to advance public health. Annual review of public health, 36, 345-359.
Cowie, M. R., Blomster, J. I., Curtis, L. H., Duclaux, S., Ford, I., Fritz, F., & Michel, A. (2017). Electronic health records to facilitate clinical research. Clinical Research in Cardiology, 106(1), 1-9.
Eberts, M., & Capurro, D. (2019). Patient and Physician Perceptions of the Impact of Electronic Health Records on the Patient–Physician Relationship. Applied clinical informatics, 10(4), 729. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-1696667
Evans, R. S. (2016). Electronic health records: then, now, and in the future. Yearbook of medical informatics, (Suppl 1), S48.
Hossain, A., Quaresma, R., & Rahman, H. (2019). Investigating factors influencing the physicians’ adoption of electronic health record (EHR) in healthcare system of Bangladesh: An empirical study. International Journal of Information Management, 44, 76-87.