Physicians reported low satisfaction with their electronic health records and computerized physician order entry, according to findings published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
An analysis of survey data also found that physicians who used these technologies were more likely to be less satisfied and burned out.
"The reasons for increased rate of physician burnout are complex and include individual and organizational factors," Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, of the division of hematology at the Mayo Clinic, and colleagues wrote. "Many physicians have speculated that the more widespread penetration of electronic health records (EHRs), electronic prescribing, electronic patient portals, and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) may lead to information overload, frequent interruptions/distractions, and a change in the content of professional work."
The researchers conducted a national study of 6,375 physicians who were identified by an AMA database and varied among specialties. Physicians were surveyed regarding EHR, CPOE and electronic patient portal use and also completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory.
Results showed that 5,389 physicians used EHRs and 4,858 physicians used CPOE. Shanafelt and colleagues reported that these physicians "had lower satisfaction with the amount of time spent on clerical tasks and higher rates of burnout."
Physicians were more often dissatisfied if they used EHRs (OR = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.57-0.79; P < .001) or if they used CPOE (OR = 0.72; 95% CI, 0.62-0.84; P < .001) after multivariable analysis. In addition, CPOE use was associated with a higher risk for burnout (OR = 1.29; 95% CI, 1.12-1.48; P < .001).
"Electronic health records, CPOE, and patient portals are here to stay," Shanafelt and colleagues wrote. "These tools hold great promise for enhancing coordination of care, reducing errors, and improving quality of care. In their current form and implementation, however, they seem to have had a variety of unintended negative consequences that reduce efficiency, increase clerical burden, and increase the risk of burnout for physicians."
They concluded: "Further studies are needed to investigate whether the associations observed are casual. Innovative approaches that incorporate these electronic tools into practice without adversely affecting physician efficiency and professional satisfaction are needed." – by Chelsea Frajerman Pardes
Disclosures: The study was funded by the Mayo Clinic Program on Physician Well-being.