EHR OR Management Systems Negatively Impact Efficiency

Implementing electronic health record operating room management systems can have a negative impact on OR efficiency, specifically in the ophthalmic surgery setting, according to a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Documentation time, surgical volume and staffing requirements were measured in an academic medical center OR. A baseline period was set with paper documentation and compared to outcomes in the early and late stages of EHR implementation.

Compared with the baseline percentage of operating time documenting (41 percent), in the first three months after EHR implementation, POTD worsened to 83 percent, according to the study. Also, the absolute mean documentation time worsened to 16.7 minutes in the early stages compared to the baseline of 7.5 minutes. In the later EHR months, it improved to 9.2 minutes, but remained worse than the baseline.

"Electronic health record OR management system implementation was associated with worsening of intraoperative nursing documentation time especially in shorter procedures," the researchers concluded. However, surgical volume and staffing requirements did not see major negative impacts.

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