JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Sep 5;6(9):e2333152. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.33152.
IMPORTANCE: Despite the broad adoption and optimization of electronic health record (EHR) systems across the continuum of care, serious usability and safety problems persist.
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether EHR safety performance is associated with EHR frontline user experience in a national sample of hospitals.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cross-sectional study included all US adult hospitals that used the National Quality Forum Leapfrog Health IT Safety Measure and also used the ARCH Collaborative EHR User experience survey from January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2019. Data analysis was performed from September 2020 to November 2022.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcomes were hospital performance on the Leapfrog Health IT Safety measure (overall and 10 subcomponents) and the ARCH collaborative frontline user experience scores (overall and 8 subcomponents). Ordinary least squares models with survey responses clustered by hospital were used to assess associations between the overall measures and their subcomponents.
RESULTS: There were 112 hospitals and 5689 frontline user surveys included in the study. Hospitals scored a mean of 0.673 (range, 0.297-0.973) on the Leapfrog Health IT safety measure; the mean ARCH EHR user experience score was 3.377 (range, 1 [best] to 5 [worst]). The adjusted β coefficient between the overall safety score and overall user experience score was 0.011 (95% CI, 0.006-0.016). The ARCH overall score was also significantly associated with 10 subcategory scores of the Leapfrog Health IT safety score, and the overall Leapfrog score was associated with the 8 subcategory scores of the ARCH user experience score.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This cross-sectional study found a positive association between frontline user-rated EHR usability and EHR safety performance. This finding suggests that improving EHR usability, which is a current well-known pain point for EHR users, could have direct benefits in terms of improved EHR safety.