A new report from research firm IDC Health Insights examines the buyer satisfaction of 212 ambulatory providers who implemented electronic health records systems, and it’s not pretty.

The firm commissioned MedData Group to conduct the survey in September. Eighty percent of respondents were office-based and the remaining were hospital-based ambulatory providers. Survey results showed that the EHR experience for a majority of respondents has been one of dissatisfaction.

Fifty-eight percent of responding physicians were neutral, dissatisfied or very dissatisfied about their EHR with the top reason being lost productivity resulting from poor usability, inappropriate form factors and user interfaces, access to mobile technology, workflow tools and configurations, in adequate training and support, and application availability.

Most surveyed providers have found themselves at lower productivity levels despite being meaningful users, says Judy Hanover, research director at IDC. “Most providers using EHR are less productive than they were using paper in 2009, and the inability to restore productivity with EHR has clearly affected the business outlook for many providers,” she writes in a recent blog. But EHRs are here to stay and providers with their vendors need to address productivity issues, she adds.

Other survey results include:

* The top goals for implementing EHRs among respondents were regulatory compliance, improving the quality of care and qualifying for meaningful use payments.

* The two biggest causes of dissatisfaction are spending more time on documentation (85 percent) and seeing fewer patients (66 percent).

* Physicians satisfied with their EHR cite fewer lost or missing charts (82 percent), being able to work remotely (75 percent) and meaningful use payments (56 percent).

The 19-page report, “Business Strategy: The Current State of Ambulatory EHR Buyer Satisfaction,” costs $4,500 and is available here.

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