Appl Clin Inform 2023; 14(02): 205-211
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1763289
Research Article

Workflow Improvement of Electronic Health Record Usage in a Tertiary Pediatric Burns Clinic

Sharman P. Tan Tanny
1   RCH EMR Team, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2   Department of Paediatric Surgery, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
3   F. Douglas Stephens Surgical Research Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
4   Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
,
Rebecca P. Hsu
1   RCH EMR Team, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
5   School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
,
Warwick J. Teague
2   Department of Paediatric Surgery, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
3   F. Douglas Stephens Surgical Research Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
4   Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
,
Diana Truong
1   RCH EMR Team, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
,
Daryl R. Cheng
1   RCH EMR Team, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
4   Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
6   Department of General Medicine, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
7   Infection and Immunity Research Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Flemington Road, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
› Author Affiliations
Funding W.J.T. position as an academic pediatric surgeon is generously supported by the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation.

Abstract

Background As a high patient-throughput clinic, the Royal Children's Hospital's multidisciplinary burns clinic's efficiency of clinic workflow and streamlined patient assessment is crucial. The clinic has been using a customized “burns assessment tool” (BAT) as part of its integrated electronic health record (EHR) since 2016.

Objectives The aim was to assess the usage patterns of the BAT at baseline, followed by re-evaluation following interventions to improve efficiency and utilization of the BAT.

Methods This study was a prospective observational time–motion quality improvement study. Observations of 19 clinicians in the pediatric burns clinic by five trained observers using a validated time–motion capture tool (TimeCaT 3.9) to map clinician workflow, with specific reference to time spent on a list of predetermined tasks, were conducted. Baseline data were collected for 7 weeks followed by three cycles of interventions and observations over 5 months.

Results At baseline, the median time for a patient visit was 24.56 minutes (range: 2.78–73.72 minutes, interquartile range: 14.17–27 minutes), with most of the time spent on documentation (34.6%) and patient contact tasks (26.0%). In each of the study cycles, the median time spent on documentation within the EHR was significantly reduced compared with baseline (cycle 1 29.8%, p = 0.08; cycle 2 20.4%, p ≤ 0.01; cycle 3 27.32%, p = 0.04). The time spent on patient contact increased when comparing baseline to data of cycles 1, 2, and 3 (25.96 vs. 33.27% of visit, p = 0.04). There was no significant change in absolute time spent on the BAT during the study.

Conclusion The study findings of clear, significant, and sustained improvement in documentation efficiency and the corresponding increase in patient contact time after interventions were introduced reinforce the importance of integration of an EHR with clinical workflow.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

No human subjects were involved in the project. This was a study of EHR use where human subjects were not part of the research question.




Publication History

Received: 20 September 2022

Accepted: 01 January 2023

Article published online:
15 March 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany