Physicians aren't fleeing medicine due to EHR systems

Basic electronic health record (EHR) systems aren’t driving physicians away from medicine, according to researchers with the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

In a recent study, a research team examined data on how the implementation of basic and advanced EHRs affected healthcare organizations’ ability to retain its doctors.

Based on available data from 2000 to 2010, the study revealed there were no “increases in retirements or wide-scale departures” by physicians who disliked newly implemented, basic EHR systems, University of Notre Dame professor Corey Angst said in a press release.

However, he said the study did find that advanced EHR systems pushed doctors away to “less sophisticated hospitals, while basic EHRs actually increases tenure at the hospital.” He also encouraged organizations to keep adopting new technologies as long as it’s not “too disruptive to routines.”

“Most doctors don’t want to have to look at a screen and document what the patient is saying while doing an exam,” Angst said.

“The (physician documentation) module requires doctors to either document the things they are doing at the moment of the exam or immediately following—or they have to employ a scribe to do it while they are doing the patient exam. The (computerized physician order entry) creates alerts that many doctors ignore because they think they know better or because of a known history with the patient. These can be very disruptive and in some cases they require doctors to work around the alert.”