The first large-scale study on the ease of use of electronic medical records (EMRs) in Australia found that nursing and medical professionals have different experiences depending on where they work.
Conducted by Griffith University, the study published in The International Journal of Medical Informatics gathered the perspectives of health, nursing and paramedical professionals in the acute, primary and community care sectors. Research partners included Monash University, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Wollongong, and the Australasian Institute of Digital Health.
The results showed that the technical and quality characteristics were perceived more positively by physicians in the primary care sector than by nurses, as well as the ease of obtaining patient information and the prevention of errors.
In the hospital sector, nurses’ experiences with EMRs were more positive in terms of support for performing routine tasks, ease of learning, ease of obtaining patient information, and entering patient information. patient data.
Interviewed healthcare professionals working in the hospital sector were less satisfied with the usability features than their primary care counterparts (performing routine tasks, preventing errors, medication errors, patient data).
âThe functionalities of using information exchange and collaboration for clinicians between departments and with patients are essential to reduce complications such as missed care, medication errors, adherence and re – overview, âsaid Dr Sheree Lloyd of the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University.
âIn addition to the increased likelihood of errors, problems with EMRs can lead to fatigue and burnout.
âIn the midst of a global pandemic, we need an efficient and easy-to-use digital system for healthcare and nursing professionals across all industries more than ever, but what we have seen is that most EMRs were designed as data. collection tools rather than collaboration tools.
âAdditionally, most of the EMR systems used in Australian hospitals were developed in the United States and may not be aligned with the workflows and practices of the Australian healthcare system. “
The researchers also found that the respondents were largely older and more experienced clinicians who, prior to the implementation of the EMR, were likely expert users of paper record systems.
âAlthough it varies from state to state, comprehensive EMR systems in hospitals tend to be implemented later than those in the primary and community care sector,â said Dr. Chris Bain, professor. digital health practice at Monash University.
“EMRs have traditionally focused on the role of physicians and were designed with a biomedical perspective, but they now place much more emphasis on a collaborative approach to health and wellness with a variety of clinicians providing medical care to patients. patients, âhe said.
This study was based on a large-scale Finnish study to understand the experiences of healthcare and nursing professionals in the Australian context. The research team hopes to repeat the study in 2022 to measure changes in usability and get a more complete picture of clinicians’ concerns.