"It’s like texting at the dinner table": A qualitative analysis of the impact of electronic health records on patient-physician interaction in hospitals.

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"It's like texting at the dinner table": A qualitative analysis of the impact of electronic health records on patient-physician interaction in hospitals.

J Innov Health Inform. 2017 Jun 30;24(2):894

Authors: Pelland KD, Baier RR, Gardner RL

Abstract
nBACKGROUND: Electronic health records (EHRs) may reduce medical errors and improve care, but can complicate clinical encounters.
OBJECTIVE: To describe hospital-based physicians' perceptions of the impact of EHRs on patient-physician interactions and contrast these findings against office-based physicians' perceptionsMethods: We performed a qualitative analysis of comments submitted in response to the 2014 Rhode Island Health Information Technology Survey. Office- and hospital-based physicians licensed in Rhode Island, in active practice, and located in Rhode Island or neighboring states completed the survey about their Electronic Health Record use.
RESULTS: The survey's response rate was 68.3% and 2,236 (87.1%) respondents had EHRs. Among survey respondents, 27.3% of hospital-based and 37.8% of office-based physicians with EHRs responded to the question about patient interaction. Five main themes emerged for hospital-based physicians, with respondents generally perceiving EHRs as negatively altering patient interactions. We noted the same five themes among office-based physicians, but the rank-order of the top two responses differed by setting: hospital-based physicians commented most frequently that they spend less time with patients because they have to spend more time on computers; office-based physicians commented most frequently on EHRs worsening the quality of their interactions and relationships with patients.
CONCLUSION: In our analysis of a large sample of physicians, hospital-based physicians generally perceived EHRs as negatively altering patient interactions, although they emphasized different reasons than their office-based counterparts. These findings add to the prior literature, which focuses on outpatient physicians, and can shape interventions to improve how EHRs are used in inpatient settings.

PMID: 28749316 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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