Doctors experience significant stress around health information technology (HIT) and the stress related to the use of electronic health records (EHRs) is associated with burnout, particularly in primary care doctors, according to new research.
The study of more than 1,700 doctors found that among doctors who used EHRs, 70 per cent reported HIT-related stress. Causes of EHR-related stress included too little time for documentation, time spent at home managing records, and EHR user interfaces.
The researchers found that doctors with insufficient time for documentation while at work had almost three times the odds of burnout compared to doctors without that pressure (OR 2.8; 95% CI 2.0-4.1; P<.0001>
Physicians reporting moderately high/excessive time on EHRs at home had 1.9 times the odds of burnout (95% CI 1.4-2.8; P<.0001 compared to those with minimal ehr use at home.>
Those who agreed that EHRs added to their daily frustration had 2.4 times the odds of burnout (95% CI 1.6-3.7; P<.0001>
EHR-related stress was dependent on specialty. More than a third of primary care physicians reported all three measures of EHR-related stress. In comparison, less than 10 per cent of anaesthesiologists, radiologists and hospital medicine specialists reported all three measures.