Hospital staff using electronic medical records

Clinicians have their say on improving the electronic medical record

28 July 2021

In a digitally enabled health system, electronic medical record systems (eMRs) are the foundation of delivering healthcare. Used to record a patient’s medical history including treatment plans and test results, they are a vital tool to inform clinical decisions.

As one of the most used clinical tools, it is essential that clinicians can have their say on the capabilities and functionality of eMR systems. During February and March, eHealth NSW, in partnership with KLAS Research, explored clinicians' experiences using eMRs via an industry-specific survey.

Through its international research, KLAS has identified three key pillars that contribute to user satisfaction with eMR systems. These are: strong user mastery, shared ownership and that the eMR meets the user’s unique needs.

Targeting all eMR users across NSW Health, nearly 6,000 responses were received. The survey closed in April. KLAS Research has analysed the results and is in the process of sharing these with Local Health Districts.

Hospital staff using electronic medical records
Hospital staff using electronic medical records

In joining the KLAS Research Arch Collaborative, NSW Health can also benchmark with other healthcare organisations internationally and collaborate to identify best practice. The insights gathered will enable us to benchmark feedback across NSW Health.

Survey findings to strengthen communication

Key survey findings for NSW Health highlight that most users would like more training and a greater say in driving and informing eMR developments and changes. eHealth NSW will work with Local Health Districts and Specialty Health Networks to identify areas to prioritise and focus. We will also strengthen communication of changes and fixes to the eMR and collaborate to uplift EMR training and education. The KLAS survey will be administered annually to track user satisfaction.

Survey results will also inform the way we build the Single Digital Patient Record (SDPR) system. SDPR will have strong clinical involvement – throughout all phases of its build, implementation and governance. The report findings have identified experiences we can use to improve the eMR and strategies to maximise its use to drive consistency, efficiency and quality of care across NSW Health.

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