Providers Spend More Time in Front of Computers than Patients, Study Concludes

Chris Nerney | Healthcare IT News | September 12, 2017

Primary care physicians spend more than half of their workdays in front of computer screens, reducing the amount of time they spend with patients, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin and the American Medical Association (AMA). During a typical 11.4-hour workday, primary care physicians spent an average of 5.9 hours on data entry and other tasks with electronic health records (EHR) systems during and after clinical hours, researchers found.

Chris Nerney“U.S. physicians spend numerous hours daily interacting with EHR systems, contributing to work-life imbalance, dissatisfaction, high rates of attrition, and burnout rates exceeding 50 percent,” the study concluded.

The AMA long has been vocal about the growing burdens placed on physicians to digitally document patient data and meet requirements for quality reporting. The  trade group called for “an overhaul of EHR systems” in order to 1) make actionable data for patient care more accessible 2) streamline convoluted workflows to allow providers more time with patients, and 3) reduce the workdays of providers by making it simpler to meet quality reporting and documentation requirements...