EHRs Eating Up Half of Doctors’ Workday, and They Are Not Getting Paid for It

Bernie Monegain | Healthcare IT News | April 5, 2017

Doctors are reimbursed for office visits, labwork and medical procedures but not for desktop tasks.

Doctors spend about half of their EHR time during patient encounters, according to new findings published in Health Affairs. The other half is consumed by desktop medicine tasks for which they do not get reimbursed.

“Physicians logged an average of 3.08 hours on office visits and 3.17 hours on desktop medicine each day,” the authors wrote. “Over time, log records from physicians showed a decline in the time allocated to face-to-face visits, accompanied by an increase in time allocated to desktop medicine.”

Researchers looked at data captured by electronic health records time-stamp functionality 31 million EHR transactions conducted between 2011-2014 by 471 primary care physicians and 765,129 patient records to measure how doctors spend their time...