Nurses Not Happy With Hospital EHRs

Mike Miliard | Healthcare IT News | October 20, 2014

'A poorly implemented EHR with chaotic processes and bungling IT support is becoming a detriment to hospital nurse retention and recruitment'

Frustration with electronic health records has never been higher among RNs, with vast majorities complaining of poor workflows, bad communication and scant input on implementation decisions, a new survey shows.  Although they're on the front lines of care delivery, and the most frequent users of EHRs, an overwhelming 98 percent of the 13,650 licensed RNs polled by Black Book for its latest EHR Loyalty Poll say they've never been included in their hospitals' IT decisions or design.  Their dissatisfaction has reached "an all time high," according to Black Book, with 85 percent of nurses saying they grapple daily with flawed EHR systems.

These nurses are pointing fingers: 88 percent of poll respondents say they blame financial administrators and CIOs for selecting low-performing EHR systems based on price, and of cutting corners at the expense of quality of care.  Indeed, 84 percent of nursing administrators in not-for-profit hospitals (and 97 percent of those at for-profit facilities) say EHRs' impact on nurses' workloads were not considered highly enough in their administration's final EHR selection decision.  "Although the inpatient EHR replacement frenzy has calmed temporarily, the frustration from nursing EHR users has increased exponentially," said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Market Research, in a press statement announcing the findings.

Meaningful use has "many IT departments scurrying to implement these EHR's without consulting direct care nurses," he added.  Among other complaints from the Black Book report:

  • 94 percent of nurses don't believe their current EHR has improved the communication between the nurse and the care team...