This is another article that talks about the ridiculous amount of time that is consumed with documenting on electronic medical records.  This study from the February 2016 Journal of Graduate Medical Education reports that interns spend 41 minutes per patient working on medical records.  As the interns and residents learn the system this time drops to 30 minutes after 6 months.  This still thirty minutes a patient and this equates to 5 hours a day.  This is still a crazy amount of time and often exceeds the time spent talking with patients. Even after the learning curve was met, it is unbelievable that interns almost 40% of their internship will be spent completing electronic medical records.

An excerpt from the study

A tracking system tallied the residents’ active use, defined as more than three mouse clicks, 1700 “mouse miles,” or 15 keystrokes per minute.

FYI, if you had not heard the term, mouse miles, it is used to describe the distance traveled by a mouse cursor on the screen.  Several software companies produce shareware or freeware programs which can track mouse miles. Some of these programs have advanced options which allows users to keep statistics.

 Although electronic medical records are thought to improve medical care, the loss of efficiency is important. There are reports of a 30 % drop in efficiency by switching to an EMR.

Article Citation: Lu Chen, Uta Guo, Lijo C. Illipparambil, Matt D. Netherton, Bhairavi Sheshadri, Eric Karu, Stephen J. Peterson, and Parag H. Mehta (2016) Racing Against the Clock: Internal Medicine Residents’ Time Spent On Electronic Health Records. Journal of Graduate Medical Education: February 2016, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 39-44. doi:

Source: The Journal of Graduate Medical Education – Racing Against the Clock: Internal Medicine Residents’ Time Spent On Electronic Health Records