Community Health Center PCPs Spend Less Time on EHR, Electronic Inbox

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Posted on November 27th, 2023 by Hannah Nelson

A study revealed that primary care physicians (PCPs) practicing in community health centers spend 5.40 fewer minutes on the EHR than PCPs working in other settings.

– Primary care physicians (PCPs) practicing in community health centers spend less time using the EHR than other PCPs, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

The cross-sectional study included 307 PCPs practicing across 31 primary care clinics at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital during 2021.

Overall, practicing in a community health center was associated with 5.40 fewer minutes of EHR time per visit, including time on the electronic inbox.

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Additionally, the study authors noted that their findings reveal potential areas for investment to enhance EHR-related staff support. Pharmacy technicians could help reduce EHR time in multiple categories by troubleshooting medication fill issues and helping physicians with prior authorizations.

On the individual physician level, the study identified a significant, positive association between PCP years since residency and total EHR time and pajama time per visit.

This association could be due to PCPs with more years of experience conducting longer visits with patients they know well or differences in PCPs’ ability with technology.

Meanwhile, in comparison to other research, the study’s adjusted models did not find an association between PCP sex and EHR time outcomes despite associations in univariate analyses.

“Consistent with literature showing differences in clinic and EHR-related resource availability for female physicians and patients’ interactions with female physicians, our results suggest that sex differences in EHR time may be influenced by panel, clinic, or team collaboration factors rather than being solely the result of PCP sex,” the authors wrote.