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How long does it take you to look through a patient’s record?


Your patient is the focus of your independent practice. When you use an electronic health record (EHR) to maintain your patient data, you will spend time reviewing that information as well as making your own visit notes and inputting your diagnosis and recommendations. You may be wondering how long it should take to look through a patient’s record, particularly when you have the patient in the room for a visit.

Several studies have been conducted to determine how long physicians spend in their EHRs on average. One study involved 155,000 providers in the US. These physicians experienced approximately 100 million patient encounters during the research project. The research found that the providers spent an average of 16 minutes and 14 seconds in their EHRs during each encounter. Most of the time was spent in:

  • Chart review – 33%
  • Documentation – 24%
  • Ordering – 17%

This study found that the amount of time spent on each function, including looking through the patient’s record, varied across specialty areas. Given a standard of 12.3 patient encounters per day for most fee-for-service physicians, the research authors determined that the average provider spends almost four hours a day using their EHR.

A separate study of EHR use among family medicine residents analyzed the number of patient encounters, the total time per patient of EHR usage, and the total time spent in the EHR after hours during a 6-month period.

This research project found that the providers:

  • Saw between 1 and 164 patients monthly
  • Spent between 17 and 217 minutes in their EHR for each patient
  • Spent between 0 and 33 hours after hours in the EHR each month.

The study concluded that physicians could improve their own well-being by finding ways to decrease the ineffective use of their EHR, which would also result in a decrease of after-hours use.

One way to make the EHR more efficient is to choose a system that offers a cockpit view, saving you time and effort when looking through your patient records. The inefficiency found in the research studies results from EHRs that rely on a linear workflow that forces you to toggle back and forth between screens and that requires extra clicks to get the information you need.

Elation Health offers you a Cockpit View that significantly reduces the amount of time you spend finding and reviewing the patient record so you can spend more time interacting with your patient during the visit. You have everything you need in the unique three-pane console and that gives you more flexibility.

You’ll also be able to customize the order of the windows, organizing the information based on your specific practice workflow. You’ll find the information you need quicker, so you’ll be prepared for your patient encounter without having to spend excessive time on your computer. The Elation EHR Cockpit View reduces the amount of time you spend in the patient record while you document visit notes and review records from other healthcare providers such as specialty providers and labs. You can also easily and efficiently order lab tests and e-prescribe medications for your patients, so that your practice runs more efficiently and effectively for your team and your patients.