Switching EHR systems may increase operation times, study finds

Operating times for eye surgeries may take longer after a medical center implements a new EHR system, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology.

For the study, Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University researchers analyzed data from eye surgeries performed between July 2015 and November 2016 at two ambulatory surgical centers and a hospital outpatient department in a single academic institute.

Operative times were gathered from two EHR systems, and the rates of surgeries performed post-EHR implementation were separated into three 50-day transition categories: immediate, intermediate and late. Researchers analyzed a total of 11,064 cases performed by 76 surgeons.

Results of the study showed that in comparison to surgery times prior to the new EHR implementation, the average operating room time was 2.9 minutes longer during the immediate post-EHR transition period and 1.2 minutes longer in the intermediate post-EHR transition period. There was not a difference in OR time between the late post-transition and pre-transition periods.

For ASCs and the HOPD, results showed that cataract surgeries performed at the HOPDs required 15.9 more minutes on average for operating time with a 5.1 minute longer turnaround time than surgeries performed at the ASCs.

Because transitioning to a new EHR temporarily altered OR efficiency, the study authors concluded that medical institutions should examine the anticipated benefits, such as potential improvements to data reporting and user satisfaction, which a new EHR system may invoke.

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