Physician perceptions of documentation methods in electronic health records

Nicole E. McAmis, Andrew S. Dunn, Richard S. Feinn, Aaron W. Bernard, Margaret J. Trost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study sought to determine physician, specialty and practice factors influencing choice of method for electronic health record (EHR) documentation: direct typing (DT), electronic transcription (ET), human transcription (HT), and scribes. A survey assessing physician documentation practices was developed and distributed online. The primary outcome was the proportion of physicians using each method. Secondary outcomes were provider-rated accuracy, efficiency, and ease of navigation on a 1-5 Likert scale. Means were compared using linear mixed models with Bonferroni adjustment. The 818 respondents were mostly outpatient (46%) adult (79%) physicians, practiced for a mean 15.8 years, and used DT for EHR documentation (72%). Emergency physicians were more likely to use scribes (p < 0.0001). DT was rated less efficient than all other methods (p < 0.0001). ET was rated less accurate than DT (p < 0.001) and HT (p < 0.001). HT was rated less easy to navigate than DT (p = 0.002) and scribe (p < 0.001), and ET less than scribe (p = 0.002). Two hundred and forty-three respondents provided free-text comments that further described opinions. DT was the most commonly used EHR method but rated least efficient. Scribes were rated easy to navigate and efficient but infrequently used outside of emergency settings. Further innovation is needed to design systems responsive to all physician EHR needs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Informatics Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • documentation
  • electronic health record
  • medical scribe
  • voice recognition


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