Study shows nurses prefer EHRs to paper systems

Study shows nurses prefer EHRs to paper systems

A recent report from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society revealed what nurses believe are the pros and cons of adopting electronic health records. The study surveyed over 600 registered nurses, asking in-depth questions about their feelings toward the digital filing systems that are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the medical community. 

About 71 percent of those surveyed said they would never want to go back to paper health records. This number even included nurses whose practices had not fully integrated EHRs yet, meaning the systems were not necessarily making their jobs easier yet. Only 43 percent of respondents who favored EHRs said the programs helped eliminate duplicate work, and just 33 percent responded that EHRs allowed them to have more time with patients. 

Even though EHRs have not necessarily improved efficiency and productivity for nurses, many of those who replied to the survey believed the systems have immense patient care benefits. Nearly three quarters of respondents agreed that EHRs improved patient safety. About 72 percent believed EHRs helped reduce medication errors and 70 percent said the systems help give nurses more complete information. Additionally, 75 percent of nurses reported that EHRs enable internal collaborations. 

The survey asked respondents how EHRs could further benefit them. Most people said that nurses should be consulted when practices are choosing EHRs, and that continued training should be offered regularly. 

"This study is helpful for anyone who wants to better understand how healthcare IT affects nurses, from their point of view. Results show that nurses have the highest levels of satisfaction around how EHRs improve the quality of clinical decisions. But there are also findings that indicate EHR vendors could do more to improve nursing workflows," said Brendan FitzGerald, Research Director at HIMSS Analytics.