November 1, 2023

Physicians spent more time in EHR with telehealth during pandemic

Editor's Note

New research shows that physicians who used telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic spent increased time working in the electronic health record (EHR). The research findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine on October 30.

Researchers studied the weekly EHR metadata of 1,052 physicians at the University of California San Francisco Health before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. These physicians provided ambulatory care across 11 specialties, including cardiology, hematology, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery. They looked at EHR time during and outside patient scheduled hours, time spent documenting, and electronic messages sent to and received from patients.

Some highlights of analyzing EHR time during and outside of patient scheduled hours (PSHs), time spent documenting (normalized per 8 PSHs), and electronic messages sent to and received from patients include:

  • There was a major increase in telehealth use, from 3.1% to 49.3%. 
  • From the prepandemic to the pandemic period, physician time spent working in the EHR during PSHs increased from 4.53 to 5.46 hours per 8PSHs.
  • Physician time spent working in the EHR outside PSHs increased from 4.29 to 5.34 hours.

The increase in EHR time was related largely to documenting visits rather than messaging patients, the researchers found.


Join our community

Learn More
Video Spotlight
Live chat by BoldChat