The article “Physicians score EHRs an F on usability, study finds” stated “electronic health record systems scored in the bottom 9th percentile for technology usability, which could contribute to physician burnout, according to a new study.” These results should come as no surprise to anyone in healthcare.
Not a day goes by in any healthcare setting without hearing from frustrated providers. (I even hear complaints during my office visits with physicians.) EHRs are designed for billing rather than medical usability. They ensure the provider clicks enough boxes to meet criteria for a billing level. The number of clicks and drop-down lists is overwhelming, with the ultimate documentation sometimes worthless. In fairness, ICD-10 further exacerbated this problem with the ridiculous number of sub-diagnoses.
To appease providers, IT has enabled problematic functionality (like copy forward and auto-population of every diagnostic test), further diminishing the value of the patient’s medical record. Reading a record today does not adequately tell the patient story, nor is it user-friendly. I suggest we need to start over with the entire EHR system, utilizing active providers as subject matter experts.
Denise Adema, R.N.
Fort Myers, Fla.