Crisis documentation, COVID-19, Documentation burden, Electronic health record, Morale distress



  1. Hoelscher, Stephanie H. DNP, RN-BC, CPHIMS, CHISP, FHIMSS
  2. McBride, Susan PhD, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FAAN
  3. Bumpus, Serena DNP, RN, NEA-BC


Clinicians across the globe face overwhelming dissatisfaction and burden with electronic health records due to poor usability and the sheer volume of data collection requirements. In the United States, electronic health records are noted to be a principal source of distress, dissatisfaction, and endless workarounds, leading to poor clinician performance and, ultimately, poor patient outcomes.


The purpose of this article is to present a detailed review of a 2020 Texas pilot study. The study's focus was the engagement of nursing informatics experts from around the state to gain consensus on nursing documentation's current status and if plans were being developed to modify or decrease documentation, specifically to alleviate burden during a time of crisis. The study consisted of subject matter expert focus groups, a high-level Delphi for instrument development, and the implementation of the statewide instrument to gain consensus. Ultimately, the research team learned that there were gaps in not only what documentation could be removed (either temporarily or permanently) but also what standards dictate the use of crisis documentation (ie, "surge" criteria). The study findings discussed in this article will inform improvement strategies and policy recommendations to increase the value and usability of crisis nursing documentation requirements.