Ophthalmologists report increased use of electronic health records but decreased productivity as a result

Bottom Line: Most ophthalmologists in a survey reported using electronic health records (EHRs) but thought that EHR use decreased their productivity.

Why The Research Is Interesting:  A previous survey study reported a rapid increase in the proportion of ophthalmologists using EHRs. Understanding EHR use by ophthalmologists and their impact on productivity can guide the design of future EHRs.

Who and When: 348 U.S. ophthalmologists surveyed between 2015-2016

What (Study Measures): Proportion of ophthalmologists adopting EHRs and their perceptions of clinical productivity measured as the number of patients seen each day

How (Study Design): This is a cross-sectional study in which the exposure (EHRs) and outcomes (perceptions of finances and clinical productivity) were measured at the same time and the association between the two was assessed.

Authors: Michele C. Lim, M.D., University of California, Davis, and coauthors.

Results: EHR adoption among U.S. ophthalmologists has more than doubled since 2011 to 72 percent; ophthalmologists' perceptions are more negative about the effect of EHRs on practice costs and productivity.

Study Limitations: The response rate of the survey may not represent the opinions of U.S. ophthalmologists; financial data were not collected as part of the survey.

Study Conclusions: Negative perceptions of EHRs suggest more attention should be paid to improving the efficiency and usability of EHR systems.

JAMA Ophthalmology