Okay, what was your first reaction when you read the above headline?

Mine was a tweet: “How’s this for positive spin? LOL.”

Some responses to me.

@cwrightmd tweeted, “I’m nearly 42% satisfied with mine.”
@catjacarol01 said, “Less than half is supposed to be good? Try to imagine saying nearly 42% of patients survive this surgery.”
@manders8589 wondered how many of the 42% were physicians who used the electronic health record clinically?

Good question. The brief SmartBrief article linked to one on the website of Healthcare IT News which produced the survey. Details about it were sketchy.

The number of respondents in various healthcare roles was not provided. All we know is, “The readers who contributed to our research run the gamut of hospital jobs: chief information officer, IT director, clinical engineer, application analyst, facility risk manager, telehealth coordinator, nursing informaticist and more.”

Did that gamut included any nurses or doctors in the trenches? The article did not provide that information, nor did it say how the survey was conducted, how many people were surveyed, and how many responded.

Healthcare IT News never missed an opportunity to portray the EHR in a positive light. Here is the Healthcare IT News headline.

Another example is this glowing endorsement. When asked, “What was your overall satisfaction with the EHR system?” nearly 42 percent of respondents gave their system either an eight or nine on a scale of 1-10. More than 5 percent gave it the top “Most Satisfied” score.” Wow 5 percent! I am impressed.

But my favorite part of the piece was this gem:

Nearly half [well, almost 42%] of those responding were “satisfied.”

Is satisfied the same as “happy”? If so, they may be happy because except for possibly the nurse informaticists, none of them have to use it every day.


Skeptical Scalpel is a retired surgeon and was a surgical department chairman and residency program director for many years. He is board-certified in general surgery and a surgical sub-specialty and has re-certified in both several times. For the last 8 years, he has been blogging at SkepticalScalpel.blogspot.comand tweeting as @SkepticScalpel. His blog has had more than 3,000,000 page views, and he has over 18,000 followers on Twitter.