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5 unsettling statistics about EHR use in medical practices


Physicians are largely unhappy with their EHR systems and given the opportunity, would unplug them immediately.


Sobering statistics about electronic health records (EHRs) and their inability to better coordinate care and improve costs and workflow are at the center of a recent survey of nearly 1,000 physicians administered by MPI Group for Medical Economics magazine. The majority of physicians report frustration with their EHR systems in more ways than one, but will the healthcare information technology industry take note of the time, money and efforts that these systems are costing?

EHR dissatisfaction scores increase by practice size. About 63% of physicians would not purchase the same EHR system if given a choice. Practices with 10 or more physicians say they would not purchase the same EHR system again. Sixty percent of family medicine physicians wouldn’t repurchase their same EHR system, while 66% of internal medicine physicians agree. 


Physicians gave multiple reasons why they plan on switching EHRs. The majority of doctors (67%) cited system functionality as a top reason for wanting to switch. Cost (48%) and poor customer service (33%) are also big factors in physicians wanting to switch EHR vendors.







Almost half (45%) of physicians surveyed thought that EHRs are making patient care worse. In larger practices with more than 10 physicians, 52% of them thought EHRs provided worse quality of care, while in practices with six to 10 physicians, 54% of physicians agreed.






Among the promises of EHR technology is to create efficiencies in doctor-to-hospital and doctor-to-doctor communication. However, 69% of physicians surveyed say that care coordination has not been improved. Specialists and subspecialists outside of primary care seem to be most dissatisfied with EHR care coordination, as 72% say that coordination with hospitals has not improved.

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