The physician specialties that spend the most, least time in the EHR: 3 study insights

By Jackie Drees for Becker’s Hospital Review

While there is substantial variation in time spent on the EHR based on physician specialty, physicians practicing gastroenterology and internal medicine are most active in the electronic systems, according to an April 5 study published in the Journal of American Medical Association.

A team of researchers led by New Haven, Conn.-based Yale Medicine measured core efficiencies of EHR technologies in seven areas: total EHR time spent during an eight-hour shift, work done outside of standard work hours, documenting patient health, documenting prescriptions, responding to emails, coordinating medical orders and undivided attention given to patients.

Three study insights:

  1. The researchers applied the standard measurements across EHR systems using different vendor products; they examined Yale New Haven Health, which uses Epic, and MedStar, which uses Cerner. The study also included data from 573 physicians across multiple specialties.
  2. The most time was spent by physicians in gastroenterology, internal medicine and family medicine.
  3. Physicians in surgical specialties, sports medicine, neurology and psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology spent the least amount of time in the EHR.
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