Appl Clin Inform 2017; 08(04): 1197-1207
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2017-04-RA-0060
Research Article
Schattauer GmbH Stuttgart

A Multisite Survey Study of EMR Review Habits, Information Needs, and Display Preferences among Medical ICU Clinicians Evaluating New Patients

Matthew E. Nolan
Rodrigo Cartin-Ceba
Pablo Moreno-Franco
Brian Pickering
Vitaly Herasevich
Further Information

Publication History

11 April 2017

12 July 2017

Publication Date:
22 December 2017 (online)


Objective The electronic chart review habits of intensive care unit (ICU) clinicians admitting new patients are largely unknown but necessary to inform the design of existing and future critical care information systems.

Methods We conducted a survey study to assess the electronic chart review practices, information needs, workflow, and data display preferences among medical ICU clinicians admitting new patients. We surveyed rotating residents, critical care fellows, advanced practice providers, and attending physicians at three Mayo Clinic sites (Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona) via email with a single follow-up reminder message.

Results Of 234 clinicians invited, 156 completed the full survey (67% response rate). Ninety-two percent of medical ICU clinicians performed electronic chart review for the majority of new patients. Clinicians estimated spending a median (interquartile range (IQR)) of 15 (10–20) minutes for a typical case, and 25 (15–40) minutes for complex cases, with no difference across training levels. Chart review spans 3 or more years for two-thirds of clinicians, with the most relevant categories being imaging, laboratory studies, diagnostic studies, microbiology reports, and clinical notes, although most time is spent reviewing notes. Most clinicians (77%) worry about overlooking important information due to the volume of data (74%) and inadequate display/organization (63%). Potential solutions are chronologic ordering of disparate data types, color coding, and explicit data filtering techniques. The ability to dynamically customize information display for different users and varying clinical scenarios is paramount.

Conclusion Electronic chart review of historical data is an important, prevalent, and potentially time-consuming activity among medical ICU clinicians who would benefit from improved information display systems.


There were no specific intramural or extramural funds for this project. Mayo Clinic's installation of REDCap software is supported by the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science, through an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (UL1 TR000135).

Supplementary Material