4 EHR-related issues the healthcare industry faces

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EHR inefficiencies continue to burden physicians who spend too much time on data input as opposed to improving the lives of patients.

Annals of Internal Medicine published the American College of Physicians’ position paper that dives into the various issues related to EHRs and their impact on providers, according to Medscape.

Here are four EHR-related issues detailed in the position paper:

1. Lack of uniformity. Hospitals are often using various EHR systems that feature different tools, leading to confusion and inefficiency. Nitin Damle, MD, ACP’s president-elect, said the industry needs to promote uniformity “so we’re not reporting different measures to different health plans with different reporting requirements,” according to Medscape.

2. Physicians spend too much time on data entry. The ACP cites a study that found emergency department physicians spend 43 percent of their time on data entry during a 10-hour shift. Data entry entails charting functions and documenting patient encounters which can total up to 4,000 mouse clicks. All this input weighs on physicians who report high levels of dissatisfaction with their EHR systems.

3. EHR advancements fail to keep pace with the evolving industry. During a time where new technology continually floods the market, the EHR has failed to measure up. Dr. Damle said EHR tools have not improved since the 1990s. He said to fix this issue, healthcare stakeholders should collaborate on health IT systems to improve the processes.

4. The drop-down list may lead to incorrect medications. When providers select from a drop-down list of medications, they may accidentally select the wrong medication if they are working quickly. This could lead to a series of patient safety issues if a patient receives the wrong dose or wrong type of medication.

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