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What factors influence the use of electronic health records during the first 10 minutes of the clinical encounter?

Authors Lanier C, Cerutti B, Dominicé Dao M, Hudelson P, Junod Perron N

Received 29 June 2018

Accepted for publication 21 August 2018

Published 9 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 393—398


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Cédric Lanier,1 Bernard Cerutti,2 Melissa Dominicé Dao,3 Patricia Hudelson,3 Noëlle Junod Perron3

1Primary Care Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; 2Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; 3Department of Community Medicine, Primary Care and Emergencies, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

Purpose: The use of electronic health records (EHRs) by physicians during the consultation is common and can be problematic. Factors influencing the use of EHRs during clinical encounters include physician and patient characteristics, consultation type as well as spatial organization of the room and type of EHR template. Their relative importance is however not well known. This study aimed to explore to what extent several physician, patient and consultation factors were associated with EHR use during the first 10 minutes of primary care consultations.
Methods: We examined EHR use of 17 residents in 142 videotaped consultations at the Primary Care Division of the Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland. We conducted univariable and multivariable analyses with patient, physician and consultation variables to predict EHR use: sex and age of the patient; physician’s sex, age, postgraduate experience and EHR-use self-perception; and language, type of consultation (new/follow-up) and content of the consultation using the Roter interaction analysis system (RIAS), the main variable being the percentage of utterances in relation to EHR use during the first 10 minutes.
Results: Male physicians (residents) and those with less clinical experience and conducting a new consultation or addressing biomedical content were positively correlated with EHR use (+5.3% for male physicians, P=0.101; +0.6% per year of experience, P=0.021; +6.0% for new consultation, P=0.097; +0.4% per 1% of biomedical content increase; P=0.018).
Conclusion: Only a small number of physician, patient and consultation factors appear to have an impact on the use of EHR during primary care consultations, and this impact remains modest. Given the influence of EHR use on physician–patient relationship, further research should explore what other factors are implicated in EHR use and whether they can be changed or improved.

Keywords: computer use, primary care, predicting factors, electronic health record

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