Doctors are spending most of their time on electronic health records and performing administrative tasks than taking care of patients. According to a new study, even though the paperwork is done on the computer, there is still a lot of work to do and sometimes doctors have to spend more hours in their office.
Researchers followed 57 doctors in different specialities, during their office hours. Some of them helped the scientists by having a diary for after work hours, from July 2015 to August 2015. They found out that 29 percent of total work time was spent talking to patients, while 49 percent was spent on electronic health records. The authors of the study, from the American Medical Association, wanted to know how the doctors are spending their time and to find solutions so patients will be more satisfied.
Of course, the electronic health records have to be filled so that patients will know how much they have to pay and what health issues they had. However, there should be other ways for them to do the paperwork faster. Patients pay attention to how much time doctors are spending with them and sometimes they feel like paperwork is more important for them. The truth is as a doctor, you have many responsibilities and no matter how hard you try, electronic records are taking a lot of time.
This study could help us discover why a doctor’s time is not used as it should. The problem is that the study was made only in a few institutions. People will need more research to see how much time doctors from bigger hospitals are spending in front of their computers at work.
Electronic health records have their benefits. First of all, it is easier for doctors to fill them. Moreover, it is easier to share information with other hospitals. The best way to make doctors spend more time with their patients is to make the documents easier to complete and focus only on the important procedures. It is more important for a doctor to stay with his patients that complete that paperwork.
It seems that even though electronic health records were developed to make doctors more efficient, they could be the reason why patients do not see their doctor so much. What solutions do you think people can find for this problem?
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