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EHR Clinical Note Length Continues to Grow Despite Coding Changes

Here’s one for the med mal attorneys. Epic Research issued a report on clinical notes documented in their system.

Researchers evaluated 1.7 billion clinical notes written by 166,318 outpatient providers from May 2020 to April 2023.

They found that the average length across all clinical notes increased 8.1 percent from May 2020 to April 2023. However, even though the average note length increased, the average time spent writing notes decreased by 11.1 percent over this same period.

The researchers also compared each provider’s average note length in 2020 to that same provider’s average note length in 2023. About 40 percent of providers decreased their average note length over the three years.

The research also revealed that almost 90 percent of providers reduced the average time they spent writing each clinical note.

Additionally, 10 percent of providers who decreased their average note lengths the most came from various specialties, including primary care, internal medicine, surgical specialties, dermatology, cardiology, and psychiatry. The researchers noted that this suggests a reduction in note length is achievable in almost any specialty.

Full article by Hannah Nelson, for EHR Intelligence.