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Electronic health record, Electronic medical record, Nurse, Workaround, Workflow



  1. Lee, Seonah PhD, RN
  2. Lee, Myeong-Seon MSN, RN


The objective of this study was to identify nurses' workarounds related to the use of electronic medical records in a tertiary teaching hospital. A total of 106 nurses (84.8%) using the electronic medical records completed 10-item questionnaires scored on a Likert scale and five open-ended questions with written responses. The numerical data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, and the written descriptions were categorized by meaning. The mean of the scored items ranged from 3.29 to 3.74. Approximately 38% to 50% of the participants reported (very) frequent workflow delays due to the use of the electronic medical records, and 46% to 64% reported (very) frequently using workarounds. Twenty-nine workarounds of the electronic medical records were due to electronic documentation, difficulty accessing the electronic medical records, medication administration, covering physician responsibilities, electronic communication with the physicians, respondents and physicians not skilled in using the electronic medical records, and connection failures between devices or machines and the electronic medical records. Although none of these identified workarounds were intended to be harmful, and certain workarounds were efficient for patient care and workflow, whether patient safety can be jeopardized by workarounds should be considered. This study contributes to the understanding of why and how workarounds occur in the hospital. It will be useful for achieving greater alignment between work contexts and the electronic medical record in the future.