Study: Medical Interns Spending Almost Half of Workday on EHR Use

Data from 2016 shows indirect patient care gets majority of attention

First-year internal medicine residents spend 43 percent of their day on average on EHR use, and ultimately spend more time in indirect patient care than interacting with patients, according to a recent JAMA Internal Medicine study reported by EHR Intelligence.

A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University conducted a direct observational secondary analysis of internal medicine interns at six university-affiliated and community-based internal medicine programs, and found that almost half the work day, on average, is devoted to the review, input, and other activities associated with EHR usage.

Researchers looked at the activities of 80 different interns during 194 work shifts for a total of 2,173 hours between March and May of 2016. The data was analyzed between June 2018 and the start of 2019.

“The workday for internal medicine residents in the United States has evolved over time,” wrote researchers in the report. “With the diffusion of the electronic health record, demands for more detailed documentation, and pressures to decrease the length of stay for common clinical conditions, residents may have adapted by reducing time spent with patients and in educational activities.”

With trainees continuing to report high rates of burnout early in their medical careers, it will be interesting to see the response, if any, to this latest report.

SOURCE: EHR Intelligence

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