Harvard Business Review January 10, 2019
Derek A. Haas, John D. Halamka, Michael Suk

Physicians in the United States are justifiably upset by the amount of time they spend using electronic health records (EHRs). This is true across primary care physicians and specialists, and it contributes to physician burnout. The annual cost of physicians spending half of their time using EHRs is over $365 billion (a billion dollars per day) — more than the United States spends treating any major class of diseases and about equal to what the country spends on public primary and secondary education instruction. This is a problem that can be solved now by taking three steps.

1. Standardize and reduce payer-imposed requirements. A recent study of U.S. health systems using the same major EHR system found that at the median organization the length of the average patient note in an...