Impact of EHR Usability on Patient-Provider Relationships and Health Outcomes A Literature Review

Document Type


Lead Author Type

MBI Masters Student


Dr. Guenter Tusch; tuschg@gvsu.edu

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PURPOSE: Healthcare organizations may reap substantial benefits when transitioning to electronic health records (EHRs), such as decreased healthcare costs and better care. However, severe unintended consequences from the implementation and design of these systems have emerged. Poorly implemented EHR systems may endanger the integrity of clinical or administrative data. That, in turn, can lead to errors that may jeopardize patient safety or decrease quality of care. Adding poor design quality of EHRs can significantly increase the mental workload of clinicians, thereby increasing frustration, reducing user satisfaction, and causing unproductive workarounds.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: A literature review from over 300 sources identified how EHR implementation and design can impact the workload of healthcare providers, patient-provider relationships, and health outcomes. Additional research of EHR impact on patient safety, quality of care, and care coordination was conducted to assess contributing factors to these outcomes.

ANALYSIS: Our systematic literature review included PubMed, ProQuest, and Google Scholar databases. The search terms included "electronic health records," "EHR usability," "EHR alert fatigue," "EHR workarounds," and "EHR patient safety”. As a synonym for EHR, electronic medical records (EMRs) were used interchangeably with the above search terms. Our search focused on case studies and experimental results rather than overview papers. After we consolidated multiple copies and reviewed all articles for relevance to our goals, our collection included over 300 published articles which formed the basis for our investigation.

IMPACT: This review adds to the effort on evaluating the impact of EHR usability on patient-provider relationships and health outcomes.

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