Do Nurses Spend Too Much Time on Entering Information into the EHR?

A new study from UPMC explored concerns from nurses that they were spending too much time on entering information into electronic health records (EHR).

A quality improvement project from UPMC coupled patient surveys with observations, nurses’ self-reports and EHR data to better understand how nurses spend their time during their shifts. The findings, recently published online in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality, showed nurses spent an average of 33% of their shift interacting with technology.

The most frequently observed shift activities were: documenting in (11.5%) and reviewing (9.1%) the EHR; patient assessment and interaction (8.9%); in-person communications with healthcare workers about patients or patient care (7.5%; and patient care and bedside procedures (7.2%).

“This project uncovered a discord between nurses’ self-reported and direct observations of how time is actually spent during a shift,” said Tami Minnier, UPMC’s chief quality officer. “With these findings in mind, we can better target changes that may improve the way our nurses work, while also boosting patient satisfaction and outcomes.”

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