How EHR usability affects physicians' patient, work-life interactions: study 

While most physicians recognize the value the EHR brings to patient care, they also see the negative associations the tech brings to patient interactions and work-life integration, according to a June 22 study published in Journal of the American Medical Association.

A team of researchers from Yale University, Mayo Clinic, Stanford University and the American Medical Association surveyed 870 physicians representing numerous specialties in the AMA Physician Masterfile between October 2017 and March 2018. The researchers used the system usability scale, an industry standard that scores satisfaction with usability on a zero to 100-point scale. In November, SUS was applied to another AMA-led study, which found that in terms of usability, physicians grade EHRs as an "F" rating.

After analyzing the results of the anonymous survey, the research team found that 49.8 percent of respondents said that having a computer in the exam room allowed them to share test results with patients often, while 43.9 percent also said that having a computer in the exam room was often distracting.

For at-home access, 50.1 percent of participants said they felt that EHR access while at home allowed for better care, while 43.9 percent of respondents said it often had an adverse effect on work-life integration.

Study authors concluded that physicians recognized both the value of the EHR to patient care as well as the negative associations it presents with patient interactions and work-life integration. Higher physician perceived EHR usability was associated with higher levels of perceived positive outcomes, or improved patient care, and lower levels of perceived negative outcomes were associated with worse patient interactions and work-life integration.

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