Evaluating how electronic charting affects resident productivity

Daniel Henning, Steven Horng, Leon Sanchez
Internal and Emergency Medicine 2013, 8 (2): 169-72
Electronic medical records (EMRs) are becoming standard to improve the communication of information and longevity of patient records. Using an EMR in the emergency department (ED) could potentially slow residents evaluating patients. We evaluated how introducing an EMR affected resident productivity in an academic ED. We retrospectively studied first year emergency medicine residents from a large, academic, tertiary care center before-and-after the institution of an EMR on July 1st, 2010. No residents from the 2009-2010 class used the EMR, while all of the 2010-2011 residents used the EMR. We performed univariate and multivariate analyses using productivity, measured in patients per hour (pt/hr), as the primary outcome. A mixed-model multivariate regression, stratified by acuity zone, was created incorporating EMR and other possible confounders: admissions, signouts, daily ED volume, and days after July 1st for each shift. The study was granted IRB waiver of informed. We reviewed 2,405 shifts: 1,259 shifts before and 1,146 shifts after EMR implementation. When using the EMR, the univariate analysis estimated a 0.084 pt/hr increase in the high acuity zone (p = 0.1317) and 0.029 pt/hr decrease (p = 0.7085) in the low acuity zone. The multivariate regression estimated a 0.038 pt/hr increase (p = 0.3413) in the high acuity zone and a 0.009 pt/hr increase (p = 0.9049) in the low acuity zone with the EMR. Despite the expectation that electronic charting is detrimental to resident productivity, our analyses do not suggest a significant relationship between resident productivity and using the EMR.


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