(HealthDay News) — Implementation of an electronic health record (EHR) operating room management system is associated with lengthier intraoperative nursing documentation time, especially during shorter ophthalmological procedures, according to a study published in the May issue of JAMA Ophthalmology.

David S. Sanders, from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues evaluated the impact of EHR operating room management systems on clinical efficiency in the ophthalmic surgery setting. In particular, the authors sought to determine the impact on intraoperative nursing documentation time, surgical volume, and staffing requirements.

The researchers observed a worsening in total percentage of operating time documenting (POTD) in the early EHR period (83%) vs. paper baseline (41%) (P<0.001), although this returned to baseline levels by the late EHR period (46%; P=0.28). However, in the cataract group, POTD remained worse than at baseline (64%; P<0.001). Absolute mean documentation time worsened in the early EHR period (16.7 minutes) versus paper baseline (7.5 minutes) (P<0.001); it improved in the late EHR period (9.2 minutes) but remained worse than at the paper baseline (P<0.001). Overall staffing requirements and surgical volume were not significantly different between the periods.

“Electronic health record OR management system implementation was associated with worsening of intraoperative nursing documentation time, especially in shorter procedures,” the authors write.

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