Perioperative Nurses' Attitudes Toward the Electronic Health Record
This is a review of the article Perioperative Nurses’ Attitudes Toward the Electronic Health Record from the Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing. 
Background The adoption of an electronic health record (EHR) is mandated under current health care legislation reform. The EHR provides data that are patient centered and improves patient safety. There are limited data; however, regarding the attitudes of perioperative nurses toward the use of the EHR.
Purpose The purpose of this project was to identify perioperative nurses' attitudes toward the use of the EHR. Design Quantitative descriptive survey was used to determine attitudes toward the electronic health record.
Methods Perioperative nurses in a southeastern health system completed an online survey to determine their attitudes toward the EHR in providing patient care.
Findings Overall, respondents felt the EHR was beneficial, did not add to the workload, improved documentation, and would not eliminate any nursing jobs.
Conclusions Nursing acceptance and the utilization of the EHR are necessary for the successful integration of an EHR and to support the goal of patient-centered care. Identification of attitudes and potential barriers of perioperative nurses in using the EHR will improve patient safety, communication, reduce costs, and empower those who implement an EHR.
Current research and literature regarding clinicians’ experiences with electronic health records have focused on physicians and med-surg nurses, and this research has shown that issues related to EHRs have been focused around 3 central topics: computer capability, personnel and management, and organizational support. This study was intended to assess the perioperative nurse’s feelings about the electronic health record and whether they were similar or different compared to other clinicians.
This was a quantitative study utilizing the four-point Likert scale at a hospital network in the southeast united states. The questionnaire consisted of 32 items that in addition to evaluating the nurses feelings toward the EHR, also questioned several demographic items. A total of 396 nurses with various experience in operative services were targeted to be surveyed for this project. An invitation to participate in the survey was sent to 396 nurses, however, only eighty actually participated. In addition to the 32 questions, the survey included an area for nurses to include comments detailing their biggest frustration with the use of an EHR system.
The results of this study found that nurses had, in general, positive attitudes towards the documentation and that the organization was supportive. On the other hand, the nurses felt that the computer issues, such as slowness, freezing, and down-time, was the most prevalent frustration.
The authors of this study were able to conclude that overall the nurses at this network facilities viewed the EHR positively. Although this study is difficult to use as comparison to other perioperative areas in other hospitals, because it only viewed one system’s EHR. Also because the survey was voluntary there may have been some biases.
This article, though narrow in its scope of evaluation, confirmed that in general nurses find EHRs and computers useful in the healthcare arena. As little studies have been done specifically around the perioperative area, this is a n excellent start to the assessing the readiness and usage of EHRs. More studies are needed to be able to generalize the findings to all perioperative nurses and hospitals, but this is an important primary step. Future studies, could begin to evaluate areas of the EHR that perioperative nurses feel need to be improved, added or even removed. The perioperative department is a very unique and specialized area, and for that reason, it is like the perioerative EHR will need to be equally specialized.
- Yontz, L. S., Zinn, J. L., & Schumacher, E. J. (2015). Perioperative Nurses' Attitudes Toward the Electronic Health Record. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, 30(1), 23-32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jopan.2014.01.007