A new study released by Yale University in November concludes that high numbers of doctors around the country are experiencing burnout and committing more medical errors due to frustrations with electronic health record systems (EHRs).
EHRs are used by medical institutions to manage patients’ prescriptions, doctors’ notes, medical histories and lab reports. They were designed to reduce medical errors by making patient records more accessible. However, the study found they do the opposite.
Billions in federal incentives already invested
Nearly $30 billion has been spent by the government under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 for medical facilities to modernize their records. However, the study concludes the quick implementation did not allow doctors enough time to learn the new technology properly.
More than 5,000 physicians took part in the survey, which included work by researchers from the Mayo Clinic, the American Medical Association (AMA) and Stanford University. Doctors routinely reported spending twice the time updating records than they spent with patients. Doctors who found EHRs most frustrating were also most likely to report feeling burned out. The AMA reported in 2017 that nearly 44% of all doctors said they were burned out compared to 28% of the U.S. population.
Medical errors are a leading cause of death
Numerous studies show medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer and estimates vary widely over the number of deaths, from 250,000 people to 440,000 each year.
Many doctors, who participated in the study, give EHRs an “F” rating over the ease of use with orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, dermatologists and older doctors showing particular disdain for the systems. The study’s author says he hopes the results will help improve and standardize EHRs to lower stress levels and reduce the likelihood of mistakes.
Seek knowledgeable legal advice for medical errors
Missed diagnoses can result in untimely death or delay treatment, which can lead to devastating physical and financial consequences. If you believe your doctor failed to diagnose your condition accurately, an experienced medical malpractice attorney will aggressively work to recover the compensation you deserve.