Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The electronic health record (EHR) is an important part of the effort to improve health care and reduce costs in the United States. Primary care providers, among the largest group of caregivers in the nation, often experience difficulty with implementation and utilization of EHRs. Efforts to enhance the provider's effectiveness in the use of the EHR should result in improved patient outcomes as well as decreasing the overall cost of health care. Guided by the diffusion of innovation theory, this project was initiated to develop a plan for improved usage of the EHR in a primary care setting. A survey and observations were used to better understand how the providers and staff were using the EHR. Observations and a survey of 11 participants were completed. The observations utilizing a mock patient revealed issues related to the usability of screen information, information availability, and user preference for documentation. The mock patient scenario took 25-35 minutes, on average, to complete. All participants stated they had stayed late to input information on actual clinic patients or to clarify their documentation. The same 11 participants completed the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) Post-Electronic Health Record Implementation: Survey of Providers responses. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results. Most participants indicated that the screen font was difficult to read (72.7%), they had difficulty using the EHR (72.8%) and were not satisfied with its use (63.6%). The project recommendations include working with the vendor to improve information access and ongoing training. Improvements to the EHR should support social change by improving access to information at the point of care, enhancing quality treatment and improving patient care outcomes.