When it comes to adopting electronic health record (EHR) systems in healthcare environments, there’s good news and bad news. Nurses love them and would dislike reverting back to paper-based systems. Unfortunately, they’re rarely consulted on EHR system deployments, even though they’re the ones using them on the front lines.
HIMSS Analytics and Allscripts released the results of a survey that polled over 600 registered nurses on their experiences with EHRs. A full 71 percent said they wouldn’t consider going back to paper-based medical records despite the fact that EHRs don’t always make their jobs more efficient. Only 43 percent said EHR eliminate duplicate work and a mere 33 percent said electronic records allow them to spend more time with their patients. On the flip side, nurses said EHRs improve patient safety by reducing medication errors and allowing for collaboration with other clinicians within their medical facility.
“This study is helpful for anyone who wants to better understand how healthcare IT affects nurses, from their point of view,” said Brendan FitzGerald, Research Director at HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “Results show that nurses have the highest levels of satisfaction around how EHRs improve the quality of clinical decisions. But there are also findings that indicate EHR vendors could do more to improve nursing workflows.”
Researchers said that health IT decision makers should involve nurses in the buying process and get their feedback prior to making a purchasing decision. They also recommended ongoing training to make sure EHR systems are being used to their full potential.
“One of the things I found when we did the study that jumped out at me was the lack of participation in the buying decision of EHR and HIT solutions by nurses,” FitzGerald told EHR Intelligence. “Obviously, there’s a high level of usage among them on the front lines, but nearly 66 percent said they’d never participated in a buying decision. This blew me away since the [nurses] are the ones that are front-and-center when using it and their feedback is critical.”
Date: May 13, 2015