Additional EHR training needed by many physicians, says report

In order to qualify for federal financial incentives, many physicians could benefit from additional training in the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems, according to a report that was published recently by the AmericanEHR Partners.

The study, titled The Correlation of Training Duration With EHR Usability and Satisfaction: Implications For Meaningful Use, polled more than 2,300 physicians on their knowledge of and satisfaction with clinical informatics technology, and how it impacted the quality of care provided to patients. The study was conducted in collaboration with the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association of Medical Informatics, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the Renal Physicians Association.

The report revealed that physician satisfaction with medical informatics systems was closely correlated with the doctors’ role in the selection of a clinical informatics network. The survey also indicated that at least five days of comprehensive training was necessary in order to use the system to its full potential.

However, almost half of the physicians polled indicated that they had received three or fewer days training on how to use the medical informatics systems effectively. The report also revealed that the ease of use of clinical informatics systems necessary to qualify for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) meaningful use financial incentives increased substantially with two or more weeks of training.

“The AmericanEHR Partners survey data strongly suggest that many physicians may be receiving an inadequate amount of initial training on how to use their EHR,” Alan Brookstone, chief executive officer of clinical informatics vendor Cientis, told Healthcare IT News. “Our analysis showed a substantial increase in overall EHR satisfaction after three to five days of initial training. Consequently, we recommend this amount of training when implementing an EHR system.”

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