EHR physician satisfaction up or down? It depends on the survey

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EHRs are here to stay in healthcare, but physician satisfaction rates remain variable.   

A recent Medscape report examined how different surveys indicate vastly different levels of satisfaction. A Black Book Rankings survey released in June included input from 5,700 small and independent medical practices. More than two-thirds of responding physicians reported satisfactory experiences in the second quarter of 2015, up from just 8 percent in 2013. The majority of respondents (81 percent) reported web-based EHRs met or exceeded expectations, up from 13 percent in 2012.

On the other hand, an AmericanEHR Partners and American Medical Association survey released in August found just 34 percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their EHRs, and 43 percent of respondents said they have yet to overcome productivity challenges related to their EHR.

The Medscape article points out the different methodologies used by each survey. The Black Book Survey received more than 27,194 user responses, while the AMA and AmericanEHR Partners survey include responses from 940 users, primarily family physicians in small practices.

"The AMA report is a reflection of solo and small group doctors and their staffs in a narrow, year-old slice of time and specialties," said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book, according to the Medscape report.

In a separate statement, the AMA defended its survey's findings, arguing the findings are representative of most physicians in the country. "The Black Book report also more narrowly focuses on more innovative cloud-based electronic health records. Several of the report's findings directly spotlight the barriers and strong dissatisfaction physicians find when using EHRs," the statement said.

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