Nearly One-Third of Physicians Report Missing Electronic Notification of Test Results



JAMA Internal Medicine Study Highlights


Nearly One-Third of Physicians Report Missing Electronic Notification of Test Results 


A research letter by Hardeep Singh, M.D., M.P.H., of the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, and colleagues reports the results of a survey in which almost a third (29.8 percent) of primary care practitioners (PCPs) reported missing test results in an electronic health record (EHR)-based notification system. (Online First)


A total of 2,590 (51.8 percent of the 5,001 VA primary care practitioners who were invited) responded to the survey conducted from June 2010 through November 2010.


The median number of alerts PCPs reported receiving each day was 63; 86.9 percent of PCPs perceived the quantity of alerts they received to be excessive; and 69.6 percent reported receiving more alerts than they could effectively manage. Over half (55.6 percent) of the PCPs reported that the EHR notification system as currently implemented made it possible for practitioners to miss test results, according to the study results.


“Our data suggest that PCPs using comprehensive EHRs are vulnerable to information overload, which might lead them to miss important information,” the study concludes.

(JAMA Intern Med. Published online March 4, 2013. doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.61. Available pre-embargo to the media at


Editor’s Note: The research was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Patient Safety, a National Institutes of Health career development award and in part by the Houston VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence. Please see article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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