Eighty percent of physicians have a positive attitude about EHRs and think they can improve care, but an even higher number say the systems are expensive. And three out of five physicians say that EHRs distract from face-to-face interactions with patients.

These are findings released at HIMSS by athenahealth Inc., a vendor of outsourced billing and software services for physicians, and Sermo, an online physician community with 116,000 members. The findings are taken from responses from 1000 randomly selected physicians who participate in Sermo. The results are part of a larger "physician sentiment index" the two companies are partnering on and will release later this month.

"EHRs have a long way to go towards delivering on the promise of cost savings, freed resources, and better medicine," said Sermo CEO Daniel Palestrant in a statement.

--Gary Baldwin

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