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Simpler EMRs Lower Physician Stress

Posted on September 23, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

When it comes to EMRs, simpler may be better, according to a new study. 

Researchers have concluded that doctors who use EMRs with a moderate number of functions are more stressed out and have a lower level of job satisfaction than those who use EMRs with fewer functions.

The study also suggested that doctors who used highly functioning EMRs are especially challenged providing care if they feel the time allowed to do so isn’t adequate.

The study, which was reported in Healthcare Informatics magazine, originally appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. In the study, researchers examined variables including doctor-reported stress, burnout, satisfaction and intent to leave the practice, then used these variables to compare decisions before and after EMR systems were implemented.

To gauge how physicians react to EMR features, the study authors looked at 379 primary care physicians, along with 92 managers at 92 clinics from New York City and the upper Midwest.

The physicians and managers were participating in the Minimizing Error, Maximizing Outcome study, a 2001 – 2005 study assessing relationships between the structure and culture of the primary care workplace, physician stress and burnout, and the quality of care experienced by their patients, Healthcare Informatics reported.

The researchers actually found the job stress went down slightly for physicians using sophisticated EMR system compared to physicians with moderately complex EMRs. However, time pressure during examinations was more highly associated with adverse physician outcomes in the high EMR function group, the study authors wrote.

It’s worth remembering, however, that EMR complexity isn’t the only factor which determines how comfortable physicians are with their system.

Ultimately, seeing to it that doctors are comfortable with EMR features and functions before they’re installed and set in stone is the best way to see to their satisfaction, according to health IT expert Mark Olschesky.

New EHR Certifying Body – Drummond Group CEO Interview Highlights

Posted on November 16, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Healthcare Informatics has been doing a number of really interesting interviews lately. One of their most recent ones is an interview with RiK Drummond, CEO of The Drummond Group. You may have seen that the Drummond Group will be certifying EHR for ARRA funding. So the interview with Rik Drummond is pretty interesting. It is in 2 parts, but here are some highlights from the first part (since the second part isn’t up yet):

In regards to the cost of EHR certification (looks like Drummond Group EHR certification could still be pricey):

GUERRA: So you don’t have a better sense of whether they feel the current pricing is too high or if the certification process is too long? You’re not getting a more definite sense of what it is they’re coming to you for?

DRUMMOND: We’ve been kind of overwhelmed with a lot of this for the last three or four weeks, so we’re going back to interview some of them just to see what the actual problem is. I should know more in probably three or four weeks.

I expect that this is like normal testing where pricing is always an issue. Every test that anyone does, people think it’s too high because it’s one more cost to add in the end. The flipside is we find that once people understand what pricing gives them – it’s almost the last part of their software cycle – they see the cost is not nearly as high as they would anticipate, because it’s a cost of shifting from internal testing to external testing, and it also gives them a big marketing boon because someone is stamping their seal of approval on you, you’ve met these conditions. And that marketing boon is worth anything, you pay for that sort of thing.

In regards to establishing the EHR criteria and CCHIT certification (glad to see they like the separation of requirements making and requirements testing):

DRUMMOND: We think it’s very important to keep the stakeholder groups who define the requirement areas distinct from the testing parts, if at all possible. That doesn’t mean it can’t be the same organization, but it means you have to have some really clear boundaries. So CCHIT has both of those combined, and we always try to avoid having those two combined very closely.

Our focus would be very much on working with CCHIT, our working in parallel with them, but we all have to use exactly the same test criteria to make this whole thing work. So it has to be defined somehow so that happens. We need to focus on the technical aspects in making everything come together appropriately, so that when people go buy these products they can say, “Well, I’m one step into meaningful use. I have one key component in place. Now, I have to show how I use it to get the rest of it.”