Friday, July 08, 2016

Physicians go flatline on EHR enthusiasm

In a new study, physicians' enthusiasm levels for EHR's seem to resemble this EKG:

Do physicians really experience a satisfaction 'J-curve' with EHRs?
Max Green 
July 6, 2016 

There's a school of thought about EHR adoption that suggests physicians experience an initial decrease in their positive perceptions of the technology, but over time those levels creep back up and ultimately surpass their pre-implementation perceptions. But does that J-curve actually exists for EHRs? A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association says no. 

That "school of thought" must be from U.B.H. (Univ. of Blind Hyperenthusiasts) and O.U. (Ostrich University).

"[W]e did not find evidence for a J-curve pattern with respect to positive perceptions eventually exceeding baseline measures," the authors concluded. "Some measures followed a U-curve (returned to baseline), or flatlined, while most followed an L-curve (fell and remained below baseline)."

Translation: doctors hate the technology in its present form.

The study is based on a prospective longitudinal survey of Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan Health System physicians over the course of two years, from when they dropped their homegrown CareWeb EHR, for Epic's. Although all physicians received training on the new system and the system "invested substantial resources developing customized content," according to the paper, the only significant increase over baseline perception after two years of the new EHR was for documenting while in the exam room with patients. 

Surely, that accomplishment is worth the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars ...

"Future research is warranted to determine if positive perceptions eventually surpass baseline, and what interventions can help physicians use EHRs more effectively," the authors concluded.

The answer is "likely not."

In fact, the results of the new study are not surprising considering the not-so-glowing reviews of EHRs forwarded on to HHS in Jan. 2015 by the list of medical societies below (see link to the letter at my Jan. 28, 2015 post "Meaningful Use Not So Meaningful: Multiple medical specialty societies now go on record about hazards of EHR misdirection, mismanagement and sloppy hospital computing" at

American Medical Association
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
American Academy of Dermatology Association
American Academy of Facial Plastic
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Home Care Medicine American Academy of Neurology
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
American College of Emergency Physicians
American College of Osteopathic Surgeons
American College of Physicians
American College of Surgeons
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Osteopathic Association
American Society for Radiology and Oncology
American Society of Anesthesiologists
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Nephrology
College of Healthcare Information Management Executives
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Heart Rhythm Society
Joint Council on Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Medical Group Management Association
National Association of Spine Specialists
Renal Physicians Association
Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions
Society for Vascular Surgery

But, as the EHR pollyannas say, it'll all be better in ver. 2.0.

-- SS

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