News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | September 07, 2016

AMA Study Finds Clerical Demands of EMRs Make Care More Complex, Lead to Physician Burnout

Results indicate physicians spend almost half their time on EHR and deskwork activities, and just over a quarter of their time with patients

AMA, American Medical Association study, EMRs, electronic medical records, physician burnout

September 7, 2016 — Technological and administrative obstacles are significantly cutting into available time for physicians to engage with patients. Nearly half a physician’s office day is now filled by data entry into electronic medical records (EHRs) and administrative desk work, according to a new time-motion study conducted by experts at the American Medical Association (AMA) and Dartmouth-Hitchcock healthcare system. The study results were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“This study reveals what many physicians are feeling – data entry and administrative tasks are cutting into the doctor-patient time that is central to medicine and a primary reason many of us became physicians,” said AMA Immediate Past President Steven J. Stack., M.D. “Unfortunately, these demands are not being reconciled with patient priorities and clinical workflow. Clerical tasks and poorly-designed EHRs have physicians suffering from a growing sense that they are neglecting their patients as they try to keep up with an overload of type-and-click tasks.”

During the office day, the study found physicians spent 27 percent of their total time on direct clinical face time with patients and 49.2 percent of their time on EHR and deskwork activities. In other words, for every hour of direct clinical face time to patients, physicians spend nearly two hours of additional time on EHR and deskwork within the office day. Outside of office hours, physicians spend another one to two hours of personal time each night on data entry demands.

Stack highlighted the new study in a presentation to entrepreneurs at MATTER, a Chicago-based healthcare technology incubator and partner in AMA’s effort to have physicians play an influential role in leading innovations that move healthcare forward. Stack noted the findings demonstrate the importance of relying on physician experience to bridge the gap between technology design and the realities of patient care.

“I am not surprised to hear these results, and I can tell you no one who practices medicine today would be surprised by them,” Stack said to the entrepreneurs at MATTER. “But they highlight exactly why new technologies that can bring greater efficiencies to medicine are so important, and why physicians have an important role to play in their development.”

The study quantifies a previous AMA study with Rand Corp. confirming that poorly designed EHRs and administrative obstacles to providing patients with high-quality care are leading contributors to physician burnout. Collaborative studies by the AMA and Mayo Clinic found physician burnout is a growing problem, with 54.4 percent of physicians reporting at least one symptom of burnout in 2014, up from 45.5 percent in 2011. In comparison, prevalence of burnout among the general working population was about 28.5 percent.

For more information: www.annals.org

Related Content

HHS Extends Comment Period for Proposed Electronic Health Information Interoperability Rules
News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | April 19, 2019
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is extending the public comment period by 30 days for two...
In a demonstration on the exhibit floor of the SBI symposium, Koios software identified suspicious lesions in ultrasound images

In a demonstration on the exhibit floor of the SBI symposium, Koios software identified suspicious lesions in ultrasound images. Photo by Greg Freiherr

Feature | Artificial Intelligence | April 19, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
Commercial efforts to develop...
Atrium Health Debuts Amazon Alexa Skill to Help Patients Access Medical Care
News | Artificial Intelligence | April 18, 2019
Atrium Health patients will now be able to use Amazon’s electronic voice system Alexa to not only locate the nearest...
Oxipit Introduces Multilingual Support for ChestEye AI Imaging Suite
News | Artificial Intelligence | April 16, 2019
The CE-certified ChestEye artificial intelligence (AI) imaging suite by Oxipit is now available in seven European...
iCAD Appoints Stacey Stevens as President
News | Radiology Business | April 16, 2019
iCAD Inc. recently announced that Stacey Stevens has been named president. As president, Stevens will have expanded...
Ebit and DiA Imaging Analysis Partner on AI-based Cardiac Ultrasound Analysis
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | April 16, 2019
DiA Imaging Analysis has partnered with the Italian healthcare IT company Ebit (Esaote Group), to offer DiA’s LVivo...
Radiology Publishes Roadmap for AI in Medical Imaging
News | Artificial Intelligence | April 16, 2019
In August 2018, a workshop was held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md., to explore the future...
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Implements Change Healthcare Enterprise Imaging
News | Enterprise Imaging | April 15, 2019
Change Healthcare successfully implemented its Radiology PACS (picture archiving and communication system), Image...