Inbox notifications from electronic health records (EHRs) exceeded 100 per day for some primary care physicians (PCPs) during the first half of 2015, a small study reported.
Across three large practices in Texas, 46 PCPs received an average of 77 notifications per day, and 46 specialists received a mean 29 notifications per day, including responses to referrals, requests for medication refills, and messages from other healthcare professionals, reported Daniel R. Murphy, MD, MBA, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues.
Primary care doctors now lose more than an hour a day to sorting through approximately 77 electronic health record notifications, researchers at Baylor University found.
“Information overload is of concern because new types of notifications and ‘FYI’ (for your information) messages can be easily created in the EHR (vs in a paper-based system),” the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.
Ambient Clinical Analytics—an early-stage company spun off from Mayo Clinic research and housed in Mayo’s Rochester business incubator—has reached a significant milestone with the imminent rollout of its patient monitoring software, AWARE, which aggregates and organizes once-scattered vital patient information into a single, easy-to-read interface.
When the doctor told Stuart Matchett he had a rare cancer he did not hear much else afterwards.
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“You’re completely overwhelmed,” he said.
“You think you’ve got a hundred questions to ask but can only think of one of them. When you walk out you can’t remember a thing the doctor said to you.”
Does the endless stream of articles telling you of new and alarming risks to your health have you feeling anxious? Consider just a few of the latest: Common pain relievers raise your risk for heart attacks. Sitting too much can make you more likely to develop cancer. Drinking even one soda per day boosts your chance of diabetes.
A question asked at the 2009 ACEM Winter Symposium following our presentation on ‘The Web 2.0 Rollercoaster’ was: How can emergency physicians deal with information overload?
Fear of information overload is a barrier preventing doctors from using web resources. But, given that humanity has been experiencing information overload since the invention of the Gutenberg press, ignoring web resources to avoid confronting this daunting problem is a maladaptive, self-defeating strategy. Here are some ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ pointers to help ‘Web 2.0 laggards’ pull their heads out of the ground and off-load the stress of information overload.