Health IT Pulse

Oct 22 2014   1:05PM GMT

Nurses bemoan system deficiencies in EHR survey

Alex Delvecchio Alex Delvecchio Profile: Alex Delvecchio

EHR cost
EHR implementation
ehr purchasing

Nurses — a group of employees often left out of hospital technology purchasing decisions — were recently asked for their opinions on the EHRs they work with. Their disapproval was nearly universal. Nearly all of them (98%) said they weren’t part of the purchase or configuration processes for their EHRs, and 88% blame their CIOs for cutting corners at the expense of quality of care by buying their EHR based on its price and ability to qualify their facility for government incentives.

Nearly 14,000 nurses from 40 states responded to the Q3 2014 Black Book EHR Loyalty survey.  Nine out of ten respondents agreed that their EHR systems negatively affected communications between patients and nurses, and 94% think their EHR hasn’t improved communications between nurses and other care teams. Only 26% agreed that with a statement in the EHR survey that said “the current EHR at my organization improves the quality of patient information.”

Executives aren’t the only internal group nurses are blaming for the difficulties they’ve experienced working with EHRs. Nearly seven out of ten (69%) nurses at for-profit inpatient providers labeled their IT departments as “incompetent” in regards to their knowledge and support of their in-house EHR. Nurses were nearly unanimous in their unhappiness with the amount of time they spend working with EHRs and how it has limited their face-to-face patient interactions, a notion 98% of respondents backed.

Nurses working in the 22 largest metropolitan locations surveyed responded that the EHRs of NextGen Healthcare Information Systems Inc., Epic Systems Corp., Cerner Corp. and McKesson Corp. are the easiest to use, while systems from hCare, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., Meditech Inc. and eClinicalWorks LLC received the lowest satisfaction scores.  Post-implementation issues seen in these and other systems are sometimes left uncorrected, they indicated. Slightly fewer than 90% of nurses say they’ve developed workarounds to avoid system deficiencies that went unfixed after they were reported to their superiors or the IT department.

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