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Doctors Give Electronic Health Records An ‘F,’ Yale Study Finds

Gary Kazanjian

Healthcare professionals say electronic records that were supposed to make health care better and more efficient are actually very difficult to use. That’s the finding of a recent Yale study.

All kinds of products get grades for usability. Google Search gets an A for how easy it is to use. An ATM gets a B. But physicians graded electronic health records, or EHR, with an F.  

Dr. Edward Melnick at Yale’s Clinical Informatics Fellowship led the study. 

“It’s pretty common that you see a doctor who’s either one, frustrated, or two, distracted or slowed down by their EHR.”

Melnick says clunky EHR systems can lead to tech errors that put patients at risk. Doctors spend about two hours at the computer for every hour with a patient – and he says it may lead to burnout. 

Melnick suggests changing the amount of EHR documentation for medical billing. That way, doctors can spend less time worrying about how they get paid, and more time caring for patients. 

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.