Female clinicians spend more time filling out patients' electronic health records and thus treat fewer patients, according to a new study that highlights the economic effects of a volume-over-value payment model on women in the workforce.
The EHR vendor Athenahealth analyzed how 14,520 clinicians used its record systems over a five-month period last year and discovered that female clinicians see fewer people per week than their male counterparts because they devote more time to documenting patient encounters. Female and male clinicians spend the same amount of time filling out patient records per week, but female clinicians see approximately 18% fewer patients, the study found.
The discrepancy persists across medical specialties and is wider within some. For example, female primary care providers spend 19% more time on EHRs per encounter. In cardiology and neurology, the differences were 61% and 40%, respectively.
Female clinicians reported to Athenahealth that they feel pressure to include comprehensive notes about patients within their medical records, said Jessica Sweeney-Platt, the company's vice president of research and editorial strategy. Female clinicians also spend more face-to-face time with each patient, Athenahealth found.