TUESDAY, July 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A discrepancy exists between patient and practitioner experiences with and attitudes about electronic health record (EHR) use, according to a study published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Ellen C. Meltzer, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, and colleagues assessed health care practitioner use of EHR-specific communication skills and patient and practitioner experiences and attitudes regarding EHR use during clinical encounters. The analysis included responses from 43 practitioners and 452 adult patients at academic primary care practices from July 1, 2018, through Aug. 31, 2018.

The researchers found that practitioners reported they maintained less eye contact (79.1 percent), they listened less carefully (53.5 percent), they focused less on patients (65.1 percent), and visits felt less personal (62.8 percent). However, patient perceptions differed. They reported that practitioners provided sufficient eye contact (96.8 percent) and listened carefully (97.0 percent), and they disagreed that practitioners focused less on them (86.7 percent) or that visits felt less personal (87.2 percent). Most patients thought EHR use was positive (91.7 percent), while only one-third of practitioners (37.2 percent) thought that patients would agree with that statement. Additionally, practitioners reported stress, burnout, and a lack of sufficient time for EHR documentation.

“Measures are needed to improve the daily experience and burden of EHR use for practitioners,” the authors write. “Organizations should be encouraged to adopt formal strategies to decrease the excessive time practitioners spend on EHRs outside of work hours.”

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