EHRs come under further criticism

Study finds EHRs don't hasten lab result notifications

Electronic health record technologies aren't proving especially useful in getting lab results to patients in a speedy fashion, according to a study at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than half of the 2,590 primary care practitioners surveyed said the technologies lack convenient notification features, reports Michelle McNickle at InformationWeek.

To notify patients of normal lab results, 46.1 percent of the providers needed patients to make a return visit. EHR technologies are costing providers time in other ways as well. A full 85.6 percent of the providers said that they have had to work late or on the weekends to deal with EHR test result notifications. Insufficient training on the notification system was widely reported as a problem.

To improve EHR test results management, social and technical factors need to be addressed, the study concluded. The systems should be designed to better support doctors' workflow, and new policies and procedures should be established for notifying patients of test results.

For more:
- see Michelle McNickle's article at InformationWeek

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