Physicians spend twice as much time on EHR, desk work than with patients

For each hour physicians work directly with patients, they spend about two hours on EHR and desk work, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers followed 57 physicians across four specialties: family medicine, internal medicine, cardiology and orthopedics. They observed physicians for 430 office hours, and 21 physicians also submitted after-hours time logs.

On top of the 2 to 1 ratio of EHR and desk work to patient time, the researchers also found physicians spend an additional one to two hours on computer and clerical work after hours. Despite these findings, the study notes physicians still spend the bulk of their time during appointments engaging with patients. While in the examination room, the study found physicians spend nearly 53 percent of time with patients and 37 percent of time on EHR and desk work.


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