UNLABELLED - Computer-based software to record histories, physical exams, and progress or procedure notes, known as computer-based documentation (CBD) software, has been touted as an important addition to the electronic health record. The functionality of CBD systems has remained static over the past 30 years, which may have contributed to the limited adoption of these tools. Early users of this technology, who have tried multiple products, may have insight into important features to be considered in next-generation CBD systems.
OBJECTIVE AND METHODS - We conducted a cross-sectional, observational study of the clinical working group membership of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) to generate a set of features that might improve adoption of next-generation systems. The study was conducted online over a 4-month period; 57% of the working group members completed the survey.
RESULTS - As anticipated, CBD tool use was higher (53%) in this population than in the US physician offices. The most common methods of data entry employed keyboard and mouse, with agreement that these modalities worked well. Many respondents had experience with pre-printed data collection forms before interacting with a CBD system. Respondents noted that CBD improved their ability to document large amounts of information, allowed timely sharing of information, enhanced patient care, and enhanced medical information with other clinicians (all P < 0.001). Respondents also noted some important but absent features in CBD, including the ability to add images, get help, and generate billing information.
CONCLUSIONS - The latest generation of CBD systems is being used successfully by early adopters, who find that these tools confer many advantages over the approaches to documentation that they replaced. These users provide insights that may improve successive generations of CBD tools. Additional surveys of CBD non-users and failed adopters will be necessary to provide other useful insights that can address barriers to the adoption of CBD by less computer literate physicians.