Study: Paper records outpace EHRs on content quality, quantity

EHRs and paper records tend to offer different benefits and drawbacks in terms of content, process and structure, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

The researchers — led by Laila Akhu-Zaheya, PhD, RN, a health researcher at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in the Middle East — identified 434 records from two public hospitals to compare the quality of paper- and electronic-based nursing documentation.

They determined paper-based records boasted higher quality and quantity of content when compared to EHRs. By contrast, EHRs were more successful than paper-based records when it came to documentation process and structure.

The researchers concluded their study affirmed overall "poor quality" of nursing documentation.

"The study affirmed the poor quality of nursing documentation and lack of nurses' knowledge and skills in the nursing process and its application in both paper-based and electronic-based system," the study authors wrote. "Both forms of documentation revealed drawbacks in terms of content, process and structure."

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