EHR Updates During Busiest Time of Day Preferred By Hospital Doctors.

Grand Rapids, Michigan - Epic Systems Corporation, the maker of a leading electronic health records (EHR) product, has confirmed most physicians prefer to have their patient data management system go offline during times of peak patient encounters.

A recent study published in the Journal of Electronic Health Records asked 5280 physicians at four Michigan hospitals with at least two years of EHR experience when they prefer to have their system go offline for routine weekly maintenance. An overwhelming 77% preferred the hours of 3 - 7 pm on Mondays.  The other 23% answered not applicable as they had not yet logged into their local patient management system or performed a single computerized physician order entry.

Having an EHR system shut down for routine maintenance can be challenging.  Years of research has suggested  practicing high quality care without access to  patient records and an order entry platform can compromise patient safety, place computer keyboards at risk for traumatic injury and lead to vulgar language from doctors and nurses.

Stanley Jensen, Epic's Chief Maintenance Officer, said, "We were surprised most physicians enjoy having their busiest time of day interrupted."  Mr Jensen indicated his team  had planned on changing routine maintenance work to the middle of the night to minimize physician and nurse interruptions, but this survey changed his mind.

"I used to think having Epic go down for hours when I'm trying to admit  eight patients through the ER, return 42 pages at the same time, run three codes and eat a late afternoon snack was ridiculous. But then I realized, it's a perfect chance for me to yell profanities and break stuff without remorse,  " said Michigan University Hospitalist Jeb Feldor.

As a result of this ground-breaking study, most other EHR companies are looking for ways to maximize workflow interruptions of doctors and nurses.



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