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Nurses Dissatisfied with EHRs, Report Finds

October 17, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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69 Percent Say “IT Department is Incompetent”

Much has been made of doctors’ dissatisfaction with electronic health records (EHRs) but a new report details that nurses are as equally disenchanted with the software systems.

Authors of the report, from the New York-based Black Book Research, polled nearly 14,000 licensed registered nurses from forty states, all utilizing implemented hospital EHRs over the last six months. A whopping 92 percent of them are dissatisfied with their inpatient EHR system. Eighty-four percent of those polled said that EHR’s causing disruptions in productivity and workflow have negatively influenced their job satisfaction.

Most telling, 88 percent blame nonclinical administrators and CIOs for selecting inferior systems based on EHR pricing and government EHR incentives only. Most say that the EHR selection did not account nursing workflow into account. An astoundingly high 69 percent of nurses in for-profit inpatient settings say their IT department is incompetent.

Nine out of 10 nurses say the EHR has negatively impacted communication between nurses and patients and 94 percent say it hasn’t improved communication between providers.

“Although the inpatient EHR replacement frenzy has calmed temporarily, the frustration from nursing EHR users has increased exponentially,” Doug Brown, managing partner of the survey firm Black Book Market Research, said in a statement. “The meaningful use financial incentives for hospitals have many IT departments scurrying to implement these EHR’s without consulting direct care nurses, according to the majority of those polled by Black Book.”

In terms of vendors, Cerner, McKesson and Epic Systems were the highest rated vendors by nurses, while Meditech, eClinicalWorks and HCare were the lowest. Cerner, in particular, was ranked as the most nurse user-friendly inpatient EHR vendor, particularly in interoperability with ancillary and physician EHRs.

Most polls on this topic have centered on doctors’ dislike of EHR systems. In 2013, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based nonprofit policy think tank, RAND Corporation published a widely-distributed report the detailed how the systems were affecting their job satisfaction.

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