Physicians Overwhelmed by Messaging From Electronic Medical Records Interview with:
“Computer” by FullCodePress is licensed under CC BY 2.0Matilda W. Nicholas,
 MD, PhD
Duke Dermatology
Durham, North Carolina What is the background for this study?

Response: I have found many physicians overwhelmed by the electronic messaging feature in Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs). I found there was very little published about this phenomenon, particularly for specialists. So, we set out to take a look at the volume and effect these systems have. What are the main findings?

 Response: We found that, on average, clinicians receive 3.24 messages per patient visit, for an average of about 50 messages per full day of clinic. The number of messages also correlated with poor reported work life balance for dermatologists. What should readers take away from your report?

 Response: As previous studies have shown, physicians are spending much more time in non-direct patient care and less time with patients. This is bad for everyone involved. Targeting methods to decrease this burden would be important in improving patient care and physician wellbeing. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We are planning on examining the messages sent directly from patients more closely, hoping to target higher risk patients to decrease post and inter-visit messaging.


The Burden of Inbox-Messaging Systems and Its Effect on Work-Life Balance in Dermatology
Peter G. Bittar, BS, BA, Matilda W. Nicholas, MD, PhD

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Last Updated on January 29, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD