Poor EHR usability linked to nurse burnout, patient mortality and readmission: study

By Jackie Drees for Becker’s Hospital Review

EHR usability issues are being associated with nurse burnout, which can lead to higher rates of surgical patient mortality and readmissions, according to a recent study published in the journal Medical Care.

For the study, a team of University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing researchers analyzed data on 343 hospitals, 1.2 million surgical patients and more than 12,000 nurses to assess relationships between EHR usability and outcomes.

The study found that nurses who worked in hospitals with poorer EHR usability had higher odds of burnout, job dissatisfaction and intention to leave compared to nurses working in hospitals with better EHR usability. Patients who had surgery at hospitals with poorer EHR usability had significantly higher odds of inpatient mortality and 30-day readmission, compared to surgical patients at hospitals with better EHR usability.

Researchers concluded that having EHR systems with suboptimal usability is linked to higher odds of poor nurse job outcomes as well as surgical patient mortality and readmission. The team argued that EHR usability may be more important to nurse job and patient outcomes than comprehensive EHR adoption.

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