What EHR audits reveal about the PCP experience

The data collected in EHRs can provide insight into a patient's experience during a physician visit. In a study published in JAMIA, researchers used EHR audit file data to uncover insight about patients' visits to primary care physicians.

Researchers analyzed audit file records of approximately 36,000 encounters with primary care physicians at 26 of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System's clinics. They looked at time spent in the waiting room, nurse time with patient, time waiting in the exam room and physician time spent with the patient.

Their analysis showed a primary care encounter took an average of 54.6 minutes. That was comprised of 5 minutes spent with a nurse and 15.5 minutes with the physician. The remaining 62 percent of the time was spent waiting to see a clinician or check out, according to the study.

The study also showed patients who were older, female and had chronic diseases tended to have longer wait times as well as longer times spent with clinicians. Late check-ins and same-day visits were associated with shorter wait times and less time spent with clinicians.

"Scalable ways to quantify clinical encounter workflow elements may provide the means to develop more efficient approaches to care and improve the patient experience," the researchers wrote.

More articles on EHRs:

9 things to know about CMS' Oncology Care Model 
Mayo study links EHRs with physician burnout 
4 in 10 physicians use workarounds in EHRs 

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