The ease of day-to-day operations plays a significant role in the reported job satisfaction of health care providers. Recent research has found that the usability of their organization’s electronic health records (EHRs) system to be a key indicator of job satisfaction. A recent study conducted by KLAS Research found there is a significant gap in EHR satisfaction scores between certain medical specialties that must be addressed. 

Hospital-based physicians were most content with their current EHRs and rated their satisfaction nearly 30% higher than ophthalmologists, who scored their EHRs lowest. In addition, internists, pediatricians, and physicians specializing in family medicine also rated their EHR satisfaction as high.

Determinants contributing to satisfaction outcomes included physician training on EHR workflows, overall software functionality, and whether or not the provider felt capable of offering quality care while using the EHR. When health care providers experience consistent frustrations with their EHRs, there is a greater risk of errors that impact patient care, such as injury, hospital readmission, falls, and inaccurate medication administration. Additionally, physicians are often left with a more significant cognitive burden from their role. This can contribute to occupational burnout, which is already a prevalent issue within the medical community.

This study also found that physicians who are pleased with the EHR at their place of work are five times more likely to remain in their role. Since these satisfaction levels contribute to quality patient outcomes and higher reported provider satisfaction, organizations are urged to take the steps necessary to remedy any EHR-related frustrations. 

Organizations that house specialties with low EHR ratings should investigate the experiences of their physicians to find opportunities for improvement. This necessary step will benefit organizations and provider networks alike. For example, such endeavors may require practices to collaborate with their physicians when adopting new EHRs and also make adjustments to clinical workflows. 

Ideally, physicians would be given the opportunity to make suggestions that cater to their specific job duties to ensure increased satisfaction outcomes. Provider networks should also maintain open lines of communication with EHR vendors and information technology (IT) professionals to efficiently work through any questions or bugs that may arise.

If you are looking to support your provider network during a period of EHR transition, it is also critical to implement processes that serve to ease the burden of paperwork while streamlining communication between parties.