Nurses who use EHR report more efficient and safer patient care

Nurses who consistently use electronic health records reported better patient outcomes and safer patient care, according to a study in the Journal of Nursing Administration. 

The study examined nursing data from 316 hospitals in four different states.  Key findings from the study:

  • Only 7% of hospitals surveyed in the study had a fully implemented basic EHR system in all patient units.
  • Nurses working in hospitals with a fully implemented EHR reported that poor patient safety and other quality outcomes occurred less frequently than nurses working in hospitals without an EHR reported.
  • Nurses working with a fully implemented EHR reported more confidence that patients were ready for discharge.
  • Nurses working with a fully implemented EHR were less likely to report “things falling between the cracks” during patient transfer compared to those not using an EHR.

The study concludes that implementation of a basic EHR, including CPOE, shows promise in improving patient safety and efficiency.

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, January 11, 2012; Journal of Nursing Administration, http://journals.lww.com/, November 2011)