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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2012 Jul-Aug;19(4):610-4. doi: 10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000544. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

Are physicians' perceptions of healthcare quality and practice satisfaction affected by errors associated with electronic health record use?

Author information

  • 1Partners HealthCare, Clinical and Quality Analysis Information Systems, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. jslove@post.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Electronic health record (EHR) adoption is a national priority in the USA, and well-designed EHRs have the potential to improve quality and safety. However, physicians are reluctant to implement EHRs due to financial constraints, usability concerns, and apprehension about unintended consequences, including the introduction of medical errors related to EHR use. The goal of this study was to characterize and describe physicians' attitudes towards three consequences of EHR implementation: (1) the potential for EHRs to introduce new errors; (2) improvements in healthcare quality; and (3) changes in overall physician satisfaction.

METHODS:

Using data from a 2007 statewide survey of Massachusetts physicians, we conducted multivariate regression analysis to examine relationships between practice characteristics, perceptions of EHR-related errors, perceptions of healthcare quality, and overall physician satisfaction.

RESULTS:

30% of physicians agreed that EHRs create new opportunities for error, but only 2% believed their EHR has created more errors than it prevented. With respect to perceptions of quality, there was no significant association between perceptions of EHR-associated errors and perceptions of EHR-associated changes in healthcare quality. Finally, physicians who believed that EHRs created new opportunities for error were less likely be satisfied with their practice situation (adjusted OR 0.49, p=0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Almost one third of physicians perceived that EHRs create new opportunities for error. This perception was associated with lower levels of physician satisfaction.

PMID:
22199017
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3384111
Free PMC Article
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