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What nurses like most (and least) about today’s EHRs

In honor of International Nurses Day (May 12) and Nurses Week in the U.S. this week, Allscripts is highlighting the results of a recent HIMSS Analytics survey. We wanted to know: What do nurses really think of electronic health records (EHRs)?

I’m encouraged that the results were generally positive.

Remembering how difficult it was to use paper records as a pediatric oncology nurse, I wholeheartedly agree. Some of the highlights include:

Nurses are generally positive about EHRs, and most agree:

  • EHRs help improve patient safety and avoid medication errors (72%)
  • Nurses would not consider going back to paper-based medical records (71%)

Mixed results on how EHRs affect collaboration:

  • EHRs help enable collaboration with other clinicians inside their organizations (73%)
  • Only about half of nurses agree that EHRs enable collaboration with clinicians outside their organizations (49%)

Nurses are less likely to agree that EHRs help with efficiency:

  • Less than half of nurses agree that EHRs eliminate duplicate work (43%)
  • About one third of nurses agree that EHRs give them more time with patients (33%)

It’s important to note that through this survey we heard from nurses at all levels – from floor nurses to chief nursing officers – and they represent a variety of care settings and EHR vendors, too.

Perhaps the survey is best summed up by one of the comments we received from a respondent:

EHR has the potential to be an incredible tool to GREATLY improve patient care, data collection, ability to share information, etc. It has not reached its potential yet. Paper charting was so much easier to look over on a day to day basis, but compared to what EHR can be, paper charting is unsafe and marginally useful. Handwriting legibility, loss of documentation (coffee dumps at the desk were the worst), and inability to retrieve data without paper cuts make the thought of returning to paper charting horrifying. I just wish technology for healthcare providers – particularly nurses – would catch up to the rest of the world’s technology levels.

Nurses shared a lot of great insights in this survey. Allscripts continues to learn from nurses in our efforts to deliver technology that helps clinicians provide the best possible care.

To see more results from the survey, download a free white paper or check out this infographic.

What do you think about these results? Nurses, do you agree or disagree with these findings?

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