Telehealth, Hybrid Care Increase EHR Strain For Doctors


Although the gamut of telehealth doesn’t appear to be adding significantly to the workload of the primary care physician, the mix of modalities like telehealth and in-person hybrid care environments have gone on to a lead to a 6% surge in the time spent with documentary along with EHR work, as per one of the new researches from the April study of the MedStar Health Research Institute and Georgetown University School of Medicine that has been published in the JAMA Network Open, which happens to be focusing on how the hybrid-care environments go on to have an effect on the PCPs administrative duties.

It is worth noting that the research team went on to examine the percentage of everyday visits through telehealth throughout five levels and also assess numerous measures in terms of active EHR time for the PCPs for 67,894 days.
Days with both telehealth as well as in-person care happened to correlate with the rising EHR, documentation, as well as medical record review time.

Days showing 26% to 99% of visits through telehealth were associated with almost 15 minutes more of active EHR time, almost 5 additional documentation minutes, and also 5.5 extra medical record review minutes. But the hybrid care happened to show no impact on the next-day documentation time, thereby suggesting PCPs managed to blend the additional workload.

The report said that the greater EHR time may as well be because of rising multitasking during the course of the telemedicine visits in ways that happen to be not possible in person. This multitasking may as well go on to feel more efficient and hence may not register as burdensome.

There is, however, further research that needs to be conducted in order to determine more closely if additional EHR time on days with mixed-modality care happens to be a burden to physicians.

One of the recent health reports shows that telehealth enhances outcomes and, at the same time, reduces spending, revealing increased medication adherence as well as decreased hospitalizations and also ER visits. However, the future regulatory flexibilities have come under scrutiny.

The technology can go on to help the providers enhance healthcare equity as well as access to care by way of a detailed execution strategy that will be needed for the objectives to be reached.

The potential benefits go on to extend to telepsychiatry, especially to help reach those patients based in rural areas- places where there happens to be a dearth of specialists.

The care providers happen to be looking at mixing AI along with telemedicine services so as to improve patient care, since some experts go on to argue that telehealth technology can offer benefits to providers as well as patients in the primary care area. For instance, Cedars-Sinai recently broadened its purview of an AI-powered healthcare platform called Cedars-Sinai Connect to have in it Spanish version that caters to the parents of children within the age range of 3 to 17, giving out all day and night demand access to healthcare providers for issues that are urgent.

The evolution when it comes to telehealth isn’t without any speed bumps as well as setbacks, but as it has been demonstrated very recently by the decision of Walmart to end the virtual care program amidst rising operational costs and also a challenging environment pertaining to reimbursement, there is also Optum Care that is also going ahead with shuttering its large telehealth business.

It is well to be noted that telehealth usage went on to surge quite substantially during and post COVID-19 pandemic and happens to be having the potential to offer low-acuity medical services at costs that are lower.

But the fact is that telemedicine also goes on to levy fresh costs on clinicians. Telemedicines need to shift the care delivery workflows since they very rarely go on to include clinical support staff; however, they can have levels of patient complexity that are similar to those of in-person visits.

All this may go on to surge administrative as well as electronic health record burdens for the clinicians and, at the same time, raise cognitive costs since clinicians go on to switch modalities.