4 in 10 physicians use workarounds in EHRs

Clinical workarounds are still "common," with more than four in 10 physicians reporting using such workarounds while managing test results, according to a research article in the journal Applied Clinical Informatics.

Researchers analyzed data from a survey of primary care physicians practicing in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Of 2,554 respondents, 43 percent said they used workarounds related to test results management. Interestingly, the majority (70 percent) of respondents who described the type of workarounds said they use paper-based workarounds. Twenty-two percent said they use a combination of paper- and computer-based workarounds.

Researchers also identified three main reasons for using workarounds: using them as a memory aid, to improve efficiency and to facilitate internal and external care coordination.

"Workarounds to manage EHR-based test results are common, and their use results from unmet provider information management needs," according to the study. "Future EHRs and the respective work systems around them need to evolve to meet these needs."

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