For better or worse, the EHR has become an integral part of medical care. For every hour we spend on direct patient care, we spend another two with the EHR.5 Even when interacting with patients, our focus is on computer screens up to 80% of the time.6
Given this degree of attention, it is not surprising that the EHR influences physician behaviour, especially the overuse of low-value medical care. For example, an unchecked box on an order set provides a powerful stimulus to order a test, regardless of clinical utility.7 Displaying brand name instead of generic options leads to more expensive prescribing.8 Allowing labs to be ordered recurrently increases unnecessary phlebotomy.9 Even individually listing inappropriate antibiotics (rather than grouping them) can make them more noticeable, resulting in more broad-spectrum use.10. To read the full article, log in using your NHS OpenAthens details.