Many EDs dissatisfied with enterprise EHR emergency modules

Visits to the emergency department are on the rise in the U.S., and a lack of usability and interoperability of ED Information Systems (EDIS) are only adding more complications, according to a new survey from Black Book.

Of hospitals with enterprise electronic health record emergency modules, 39 percent are moderately or highly dissatisfied with their current EDIS, with many are looking to replace them, according to an announcement. About 730 emergency department administrative and nursing managers and 1,104 ED physicians were surveyed for the report.

In fact, 35 percent of hospitals that have more than 150 beds want to replace their EDIS next year. Sixty-nine percent of those replacements will be from an enterprise EHR emergency model to a system that can integrate with the hospital's EHR.

Switching from a homegrown EHR to a commercial system for one hospital's emergency department greatly increased the frequency of task-switching by physicians, which can have a negative impact on patient safety, according to research published last month in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Other Black Book findings include:

  • 89 percent of ED leaders said they felt their hospitals, between 2010-2013, rushed to purchase new EHRs and ED systems because of Meaningful Use
  • ED physician and nursing staff are becoming a bigger part of EDIS decisions, with 70 percent of ED physicians responding they felt included in the process
  • Of those with enterprise EHR emergency modules, 90 percent said either they are stuck with hospital-wide generic EHR systems or were denied budget funds for replacements in 2016

Electronic health record use is increasing in hospital emergency and outpatient departments, according to a data brief issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics in February.

The data brief evaluated EHR use using the annual National Hospital Ambulatory Medicare Care Survey (NHAMCS). The CDC found that use of EHRs in emergency departments increased 84 percent from 2006 to 2011, and from 29 to 73 percent in outpatient departments. Adoption of a basic EHR with a specific set of functionalities increased from 9 percent to 57 percent in outpatient departments from 2007 to 2011, and from 19 to 54 percent in emergency departments.

While EHRs provide many benefits, they also bring about "unintended consequences" of errors that can affect patient safety in the emergency department, according to an article published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine in the summer of 2013.

Earlier this year, Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California, suffered a failure of its EHR system, prompting the closure of its emergency department; that created problems with dispensing of medications, review of lab tests and diagnostic procedures and reading of patient records.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement