Physicians give EHRs 'F' usability grade, link them to burnout — 2 study insights

Physicians ranked current EHR systems as unusable and said they directly contributed to burnout, according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Researchers received 5,197 survey responses between Oct. 12, 2017, and March 15, 2018, using the American Medical Association's Physician Masterfile. Researchers then followed up with 25 percent of the respondents through a subsurvey evaluating EHR usability, which 870 people completed.

Here's what they found:

1. Physicians gave EHRs a mean usability score of 45.9 ± 21.9. The score was in the bottom 9 percent of scores from past studies. Researchers placed the score in the "not acceptable" range and assigned it an "F" ranking.

2. Physician-rated EHR usability was independently associated with burnout, but every point of usability score gained resulted in 3 percent lower odds of burnout.

Researchers concluded: "The usability of current EHR systems received a grade of 'F' by physician users when evaluated using a standardized metric of technology usability. A strong dose-response relationship between EHR usability and the odds of burnout was observed."

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