Study: The toll of EHRs on clinician burnout was underestimated

The role electronic health records (EHR) play in clinician burnout was not accurately predicted, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) met in 2009 following the implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which aimed to promote the adoption and use of EHRs. During the meeting, participants generated 17 predictions of unintended consequences associated with rapid implementation of EHRs, along with 15 recommendations to address them.

Attendees of the 2020 annual meeting of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) were asked to assess the accuracy of AMIA's predictions regarding clinician burnout. These ACMI fellows were asked about the current burnout crisis, and although none said it was a total surprise, more than 60% answered that if they had worked harder, they could have anticipated it. The ACMI fellows self-identified themselves as chairs and senior faculty of informatics departments, chief research informatics officers, corporate executives, directors of informatics institutes, experts in human computer interaction, and practicing clinicians.

Additionally, more than 40% said the scale of the burnout crisis was moderately more than they expected, while about 30% said it was much worse than they expected.  

Source: Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association