Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software technology is believed to enhance both the patient and the provider experience. A recent study published in Annals of Family Medicine found that both groups have different approaches to physician EHR software use and its influence on patient experience.

The EMR Software technology

The Electronic Health Records (EHR) Software solution is designed to ensure safer, efficient, high-quality patient care. This helps to boost patient satisfaction rates and enhance patient outcome levels, which is the ultimate goal of healthcare.

EHR Software usage during patient encounters

Physician EMR software use during clinical encounters can alter the body language of the healthcare provider as the doctor’s eye gaze and posture can change. At times patients feel that their provider is getting distracted as they need to enter health information and place electronic orders. Patients want to get undivided attention which is interrupted when they use computers.

A survey was conducted with almost 60 clinicians and 1,000 patients to assess the effect of EHR software usage during one-on-one visits in a primary care setting. In the survey, the providers used the same software system and had computers with monitors facing the patients.

Findings from the survey

The survey revealed the following findings,

  • Electronic Medical Records software usage negatively impacted the clinician experience. Almost 79% of providers felt that they weren’t able to maintain steady eye contact with their patients during an encounter while using the EMR Software system.
  • EHR software usage also impacted the clinician’s ability to listen to their patient. 53% of physicians revealed that they listened less intently during the patient visit as their attention was divided.
  • 62% of providers said they feel the use of EMR software technology made the visit less personal.

The robust software system does improve care quality, care coordination between clinicians, and communication of patient information.

Positive patient experience with EHR software use

87% of the patients didn’t feel that the software technology impacted negatively and had no impact on making the patient visit less personal. Altogether, 91% of patients reported that physician EHR software usage had a positive impact on the experience and also kept patients satisfied.