Modern Healthcare

Failing grade for EHRs shouldn’t be a surprise


The article “Physicians score EHRs an F on usability, study finds” (Modernheal­, Nov. 18) 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 autopopula­tion 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 userfriend­ly. 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.

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