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Physicians Need More Training on How to Use EHRs

New Report Highlights Relationship Between EHR Training and Satisfaction As well as the Usability of Features Important for Achieving Meaningful Use

October 20, 2011

Washington– A report released today by AmericanEHR Partners highlights physicians’ experiences with the usability of EHRs to achieve some Meaningful Use requirements. The survey data, from more than 2,300 physicians, was collected from April 2010 to July 2011 on satisfaction with their use of EHR systems. It also provides strong evidence that clinicians do not receive adequate training to effectively use their EHRs.

The survey was conducted collaboratively with the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association of Medical Informatics, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the Renal Physicians Association. Key findings from the report include:

  • Overall satisfaction with an EHR was highly correlated with whether the respondent was involved in the EHR selection process.
  • At least three to five days of EHR training was necessary to achieve the highest level of overall satisfaction.
  • Nearly half (49.3%) of respondents indicated that they received three or fewer days of training.
  • Ratings on ease of use for basic EHR functions required for Meaningful Use continued to improve with more than two weeks of training.
  • Ratings on ease of use for specific Meaningful Use measures varied significantly. More training – at least one week – was correlated with improvement in the reported usability of advanced EHR features (e.g. checking patient formulary, importing medication lists, and medication reconciliation).

“This report from AmericanEHR Partners demonstrates the power of collecting standardized user satisfaction ratings across multiple specialties,” said Dr. Michael S. Barr, senior vice president for medical practice, professionalism and quality at the American College of Physicians. “We hope the insights gathered from this report will lead to better strategies for initial EHR training and better usability for clinicians working on Meaningful Use requirements.”

“The AmericanEHR Partners survey data strongly suggest that many physicians may be receiving an inadequate amount of initial training on how to use their EHR,” noted Cientis CEO Dr. Alan Brookstone. “Our analysis showed a substantial increase in overall EHR satisfaction after three to five days of initial training. Consequently, we recommend this amount of training when implementing an EHR system. Advanced Meaningful Use features, such as formulary checking, required at least one week of training to show a significant improvement in usability.”

The full report, The Correlation of Training Duration With EHR Usability and Satisfaction: Implications For Meaningful, and a corresponding chart pack can be downloaded at www.americanehr.com/education/research-reports.aspx. (Free registration is required for download.) An accompanying report, Market Share and Top 10 Rated Ambulatory EHR Products by Practice Size, is also available for download.

AmericanEHR Partners continually collects and reports data on user satisfaction with EHRs, health information technology, and the intention to purchase EHR systems. Within the past four months, the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Academy of Neurology, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology have joined the AmericanEHR Partners program. HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) also recently joined as a content partner. The growing number of collaborators will contribute the depth and breadth of data AmericanEHR Partners can collect, analyze and provide in order to advance the use of health information technology to improve care.

AmericanEHR Partners is a free online resource designed to aid the medical community with the selection, implementation, and effective use of health information technology and electronic health records (EHR). It does not endorse any electronic healthcare record vendor. AmericanEHR Partners was founded by the American College of Physicians and Cientis Technologies and is supported by 14 additional professional societies and content partners with a combined membership of more than 350,000 clinicians. AmericanEHR Partners currently has more than 10,500 registered members, representing more than 208,000 clinicians in member practices. Free detailed satisfaction ratings on more than 30 EHRs certified by an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) are currently available to registered users.

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 132,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Cientis Technologies Inc. is an international developer of web-based tools to assist clinicians and their medical practice teams in the selection, adoption, and use of Electronic Health Records systems and related healthcare technologies. The Cientis Technologies platform helps clinicians improve care and enhance efficiency through education on the effective use of health information technology.

ACP Contact:
David Kinsman, (202) 261-4554, dkinsman@acponline.org

Cientis Contact:
Alan Brookstone, MD (604) 813-6729, abrookstone@cientis.com

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