The amount of time spent on the electronic health record is often cited as a contributing factor to burnout and work-related stress in nurses. Increased electronic health record use also reduces the time nurses have for direct contact with patients and families. There has been minimal investigation into the amount of time intensive care unit nurses spend on the electronic health record.
To quantify the amount of time spent by intensive care unit nurses on the electronic health record.
In this observational study, active electronic health record use time was analyzed for 317 intensive care unit nurses in a single institution from January 2019 through July 2020. Monthly data on electronic health record use by nurses in the medical, neurosurgical, and surgical-trauma intensive care units were evaluated.
Full-time intensive care unit nurses spent 28.9 hours per month on the electronic health record, about 17.5% of their clinical shift, for a total of 346.3 hours per year. Part-time nurses and those working as needed spent 20.5 hours per month (17.6%) and 7.4 hours per month (14.2%) on the electronic health record, respectively. Neurosurgical and medical intensive care unit nurses spent 25.0 hours and 19.9 hours per month, respectively. Nurses averaged 23 clicks per minute during use. Most time was spent on the task of documentation at 12.3 hours per month, which was followed by medical record review at 2.6 hours per month.
Intensive care unit nurses spend at least 17% of their shift on the electronic health record, primarily on documentation. Future interventions are necessary to reduce time spent on the electronic health record and to improve nurse and patient satisfaction.