UCHealth analyzed reports in Epic to simplify nurses' documentation

Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth saved nurses 64,800 hours by simplifying documentation processes within its Epic electronic health record system.

The hospital used reports in Epic to discover that nurses were spending more than 30 percent of their 12 hour shifts working in the hospital systems EHR. The hospital formed "Project Joy" in 2017 to incorporate ​​technology that provides several distinct tools to capture patient data, according to Bonnie Adrian, PhD, RN, research nurse scientist and clinical informatics of UCHealth.  

Project Joy was able to optimize nursing documentation across the hospital by reducing 18 minutes of time spent in flowsheets per nurse shift, reducing the amount of time and number of actions needed to complete documentation and cutting the required nursing documentation for the average patient by more than half. 

Here's how UCHealth did it:

  • UCHealth created a team of nurses to identify unnecessary documentation.

  • The nurses worked with informaticists to show flow sheets only when necessary.
  • The team reviewed proposed changes with all organizational stakeholders.
  • The team measured outcomes using EHR tools and qualitative assessments.

  • UCHealth created processes for nurses to suggest future documentation improvements.

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