Electronic health record (EHR) usage and burnout are correlated with gender, yet there are observable variances between the sexes. As stated in previous research, staff assistance in documenting physicians’ experiences and EHR time may yield benefits.
However, it is unclear whether or not primary care facilities have a gender gap in terms of staff support for documentation. Therefore, data from the 2018 and 2019 iterations of the National Electronic Health Records Survey were used in this cross-sectional research of primary care physicians (PCPs). Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the adjusted connection between staff support for documentation and gender after a descriptive analysis of the prevalence of staff supporttion was conducted.
Female primary care physicians were less likely than male PCPs to report having staff support for documentation (25.1% vs. 37.3%; P=.04), despite the fact that 813 clinicians endorsed having an EHR (92.5% of the sample, representing 296,854 practitioners). The disparity was especially obvious for solo practitioner practices and those with a high percentage of Medicaid patients. Analyses that accounted for practice ownership and the percentage of patients with Medicaid insurance showed that gender inequalities persisted even after making those adjustments.
The found disparities have significant implications for the physician workforce, given the positive benefits of documentation help and the known gender variations in burnout and EHR use times. Future studies should dig deeper into the causes of these gender inequalities and the ways in which they can be mitigated.