Range of Issues at Play in EHRs' Effect on Staffing in Physician Practices

Implementing electronic health record systems will affect staffing at physician practices in different ways, depending on the practices' goals and what type of EHR system is installed, American Medical News reports.  The size of the practice and the scope of the EHR system also can affect staffing after an EHR implementation.

Some practices go into an EHR installation with the intention of cutting costs, while others focus primarily on improving the quality of care.

Regardless of the goal, implementing EHRs goes most effectively if practices have very specific goals, according to Mike Doyle, CEO of Medsphere, which installs the Department of Veterans Affairs' VistA system at hospitals and physician practices outside of the VA system.

In addition, Eric Pifer—chief medical officer and president of El Camino Hospital's Los Gatos, Calif., campus—advised physician practice leaders to assess how efficiently the practice is running before determining how they want an EHR system to affect staffing. He said practices that are not running efficiently could encounter more problems after an EHR implementation.

American Medical News goes on to highlight different physician practices' experiences following their EHR implementations (Dolan, American Medical News, 10/5).