The electronic health record (EHR) has many desired benefits, including the prevention of medical errors, support for increasingly complex clinical decision making, and improvement in the quality and personalization of patient care. Despite these valuable potential benefits, significant and sustained improvements related to the use of EHRs have yet to be realized. The difficulty in using EHRs is in large part due to workflow issues.

In 2010, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) released the findings of its survey reporting workflow as the number 1 EHR usability pain point for clinicians. Respondents reported having to view many areas of the EHR to capture the patient’s full story. They also reported too much information in too many areas, resulting in feelings of being lost and overwhelmed when navigating the EHR. Phrases used to describe the EHR workflow included “confusing pathways,” “too...

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