Ophthalmologists Report Increased Use of Electronic Health Records But Decreased Productivity As a Result

JAMA Ophthalmology


Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Michele C. Lim, M.D., email Karen Finney at klfinney@ucdavis.edu. The full study is available on the For The Media website.

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Bottom Line: Most ophthalmologists in a survey reported using electronic health records (EHRs) but thought that EHR use decreased their productivity.

Why The Research Is Interesting:  A previous survey study reported a rapid increase in the proportion of ophthalmologists using EHRs. Understanding EHR use by ophthalmologists and their impact on productivity can guide the design of future EHRs.

Who and When: 348 U.S. ophthalmologists surveyed between 2015-2016

What (Study Measures): Proportion of ophthalmologists adopting EHRs and their perceptions of clinical productivity measured as the number of patients seen each day

How (Study Design): This is a cross-sectional study in which the exposure (EHRs) and outcomes (perceptions of finances and clinical productivity) were measured at the same time and the association between the two was assessed.

Authors: Michele C. Lim, M.D., University of California, Davis, and coauthors.

Results: EHR adoption among U.S. ophthalmologists has more than doubled since 2011 to 72 percent; ophthalmologists’ perceptions are more negative about the effect of EHRs on practice costs and productivity.

Study Limitations: The response rate of the survey may not represent the opinions of U.S. ophthalmologists; financial data were not collected as part of the survey.

Study Conclusions: Negative perceptions of EHRs suggest more attention should be paid to improving the efficiency and usability of EHR systems.

Featured Images:


What The Image Shows: An increase in ophthalmologists who perceived a decrease in productivity (the number of patients seen per day) after EHR adoption. (Click on the image for a full-size version. Right click to “save image as” to download.)


What The Image Shows: Increase in ophthalmologists who perceived an increase in overall practice costs after EHR adoption. (Click on the image for a full-size version. Right click to “save image as” to download.)

Related material:

The following related elements also are available on the For The Media website:

  • The editorial, Electronic Health Records Are Here to Stay,” Paul P. Lee, M.D., J.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and coauthors.

For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.


Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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