Study shows the impact of EHRs on the primary care providers’ patient encounter

A recent study published in Family Medicine was conducted in an attempt to update and more clearly detail the amount of time primary care physicians spend with patients when using electronic health records (EHRs). As the researchers indicated in their report, “Although several studies of the impact of EHRs on physician work report an effect on time as a percentage of their work day, almost no previous studies measured the actual time spent.”

Observers participating in the study shadowed primary care physicians, including “attendings, residents, and their ambulatory patients in 982 visits in clinics affiliated with 10 residencies of the Residency Research Network of Texas.” They recorded time spent with patients as well as EHR screen time, using personal watches or cell phones.

Elation Health recognizes the challenges faced by many primary care physicians who desire patients’ medical records that can be easily accessed and that are always current and accurate. We also recognize that primary care physicians need more face time with patients and less screen time. The results of the study actually indicate that the physicians and residents that were observed spent a mean time of:

  • 35.8 minutes per visit
  • 2.9 minutes working in the EHR prior to entering the exam room
  • 16.5 minutes of face-to-face time
  • 2.0 minutes working the EHR in the room (73.4% of the visits)
  • 7.5 minutes of non-face time (mostly working in the EHR)
  • 6.9 minutes of EHR work outside of normal clinic operational hours (64.6% of the visits)

Elation’s Clinical First EHR solution helps physicians reduce their screen time, enabling them to spend more time engaging with patients. Most EHRs rely on a linear workflow which forces back-and-forth screen toggling and extra clicks. Elation’s Cockpit View surfaces everything primary care physicians need in a unique three-pane console, providing more flexibility.

With Elation’s EHR, primary care physicians can order and reorganize windows based on the specific practice workflow — helping physicians surface the information they need quicker and more efficiently. Physicians can document visit notes, order lab tests, e-prescribe, and write referrals in any order.

Clinical First is a commitment to building a provider-centric Clinical EHR that exists at the nexus of the clinical workflow, supports the physician-patient relationship, and drives outstanding patient outcomes.