The installation of EHR systems can disrupt operations at clinical practice sites, but also lead to improvements in information availability. We examined how the installation of an ambulatory EHR at OB/GYN practices and its subsequent interface with an inpatient perinatal EHR affected providers’ satisfaction with the transmission of clinical information and patients’ ratings of their care experience.
We collected data on provider satisfaction through 4 survey rounds during the phased implementation of the EHR. Data on patient satisfaction were drawn from Press Ganey surveys issued by the healthcare network through a standard process. Using multivariable models, we determined how provider satisfaction with information transmission and patient satisfaction with their care experience changed as the EHR system allowed greater information flow between OB/GYN practices and the hospital.
Outpatient OB/GYN providers became more satisfied with their access to information from the inpatient perinatal triage unit once system capabilities included automatic data flow from triage back to the OB/GYN offices. Yet physicians were generally less satisfied with how the EHR affected their work processes than other clinical and non-clinical staff. Patient satisfaction dropped after initial EHR installation, and we find no evidence of increased satisfaction linked to system integration.
Dissatisfaction of providers with an EHR system and difficulties incorporating EHR technology into patient care may negatively impact patient satisfaction. Care must be taken during EHR implementations to maintain good communication with patients while satisfying documentation requirements.