, Volume 29, Issue 10, pp 1341-1348
Date: 20 May 2014

Does it Get Easier to Use an EHR? Report from an Urban Regional Extension Center

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ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND

Little is known about whether more experience with an electronic health record (EHR) makes it easier for providers to meaningfully use EHRs.

OBJECTIVE

To assess whether the length of time that small practice providers have been using the EHR is associated with greater ease in performing meaningful use-related tasks and fewer EHR-related concerns.

DESIGN/PARTICIPANTS

We administered a web-based survey to 400 small practice providers in medically underserved communities in New York City participating in an EHR implementation and technical assistance project. We used logistic regression to estimate the association between the length of time a provider had been using the EHR (i.e., “live”) and the ease of performing meaningful use-related tasks and EHR-related concerns, controlling for provider and practice characteristics.

KEY RESULTS

Compared to providers who had been live 6 to 12 months, providers who had been live 2 years or longer had 2.02 times greater odds of reporting it was easy to e-prescribe new prescriptions (p < 0.05), 2.12 times greater odds of reporting it was easy to e-prescribe renewal prescriptions (p < 0.05), 2.02 times greater odds of reporting that quality measures were easy to report (p < 0.05), 2.64 times greater odds of reporting it was easy to incorporate lab results as structured data (p < 0.001), and 2.00 times greater odds of reporting it was easy to generate patient lists by condition (p < 0.05). Providers who had been live 2 years or longer had 0.40 times lower odds of reporting financial costs were a concern (p < 0.001), 0.46 times lower odds of reporting that productivity loss was a concern (p < 0.05), 0.54 times lower odds of reporting that EHR unreliability was a concern (p < 0.05), and 0.50 times lower odds of reporting that privacy/security was a concern (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Providers can successfully adjust to the EHR and over time are better able to meaningfully use the EHR.

A comment to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-014-2935-5.