Optimization of Electronic Health Record Usability Through a Department-Led Quality Improvement Process.

Publication date: Feb 21, 2024

Electronic health records (EHR) have become commonplace in medicine. A disconnect between developers and users while creating the interface often fails to create a product that captures clinical workflow and issues become apparent with implementation. Optimization allows collaboration of clinicians and informaticists after implementation, but documentation of success has only been at the institutional level. A 4-month, department-wide EHR optimization was conducted with information technology (IT). Optimizations were developed from an intensive quality improvement process involving all levels of clinicians and clinical staff. The optimizations were then categorized as accommodations (department adjusted workflow to EHR), creations (IT developed new workflows within EHR), discoveries (department found workflows within EHR), and modifications (IT changed workflows within EHR). Departmental productivity, defined as number of visits, charges, and payments, was standardized to ratios prior to COVID-19 and evaluated by Taylor’s change point analysis. Significant improvements were defined as shifts (change points), trends (5 or more consecutive values above/below the mean), and values outside 95% CIs. The 124 optimizations were categorized as 43 accommodations, 13 creations, 54 discoveries, and 14 modifications. Productivity ratios of monthly charges (0. 74 to 1. 28) and payments (0. 83 to 1. 58) significantly improved with the optimization efforts. Monthly visit ratios increased (0. 65 to 0. 98) but did not change significantly. Departmental collaboration with organizational IT for EHR optimization focused on detailed analysis of how workflows can impact productivity. Discovery optimization predominance indicates many solutions to EHR usability problems were already in the system. A large proportion of accommodation optimizations reinforced the need for better developer-user collaboration before implementation.

Concepts Keywords
Clinicians electronic health records
Covid health information management
Large organizational efficiency
Monthly quality improvement


Type Source Name
disease IDO quality
disease IDO process
drug DRUGBANK Spinosad
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO monthly
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease VO efficiency

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