Physicians working in physician-owned practices more likely to be satisfied with their electronic health records
Despite having benefits for information exchange and patient safety, electronic health records (EHR) have had drawbacks for daily practice and the physician experience. Some studies suggest that physicians practicing in solo or physician-owned practices have lower burnout, but it's not clear how practice ownership influences doctors' experiences with the EHR. To answer this question, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and collaborators used data from the National Electronic Health Records Survey to examine the relationship between physician ownership of their practices and satisfaction with the EHR.
Using a sample representing 301,603 physicians, they found that physicians working in physician-owned practices were significantly more likely to be satisfied with their EHRs (68.1 percent of those in physician-owned practices reported being satisfied vs. 58.5 percent of those in non-physician-owned practices). Those in physician-owned practices were significantly more likely to say that they had staff support for documentation (36.0 percent vs. 26.7 percent) and that time spent on documentation was appropriate (44.8 percent vs. 32.4 percent). These differences partially but not completely explained differences in EHR satisfaction for doctors practicing in physician versus non-physician owned practices.
"Our study suggests that multiple factors associated with physician ownership likely play a role in the greater EHR satisfaction seen among those practicing in physician-owned practices. Future work should examine the other cultural, practice structure, and EHR design factors that influence the differences in satisfaction we have identified," said Lisa S. Rotenstein, MD MBA, of the Division of General Internal Medicine. "This is particularly important given data showing a relationship between time on the EHR and burnout and evidence that fewer doctors across the U.S. are working in physician-owned practices."