Electronic Health Record Implementations and Insufficient Training Endanger Nurses’ Well-being: Cross-sectional Survey Study

Tarja Heponiemi*, Kia Gluschkoff, Tuulikki Vehko, Anu Marja Kaihlanen, Kaija Saranto, Sari Nissinen, Janna Nadav, Sari Kujala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: High expectations have been set for the implementations of health information systems (HIS) in health care. However, nurses have been dissatisfied after implementations of HIS. In particular, poorly functioning electronic health records (EHRs) have been found to induce stress and cognitive workload. Moreover, the need to learn new systems may require considerable effort from nurses. Thus, EHR implementations may have an effect on the well-being of nurses.

Objective: This study aimed to examine the associations of EHR-to-EHR implementations and the sufficiency of related training with perceived stress related to information systems (SRIS), time pressure, and cognitive failures among registered nurses. Moreover, we examined the moderating effect of the employment sector (hospital, primary care, social services, and others) on these associations.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey study of 3610 registered Finnish nurses in 2020. EHR implementation was measured by assessing whether the work unit of each respondent had implemented or will implement a new EHR (1) within the last 6 months, (2) within the last 12 months, (3) in the next 12 months, and (4) at no point within the last 12 months or in the forthcoming 12 months. The associations were examined using analyses of covariance adjusted for age, gender, and employment sector.

Results: The highest levels of SRIS (adjusted mean 4.07, SE 0.05) and time pressure (adjusted mean 4.55, SE 0.06) were observed among those who had experienced an EHR implementation within the last 6 months. The lowest levels of SRIS (adjusted mean 3.26, SE 0.04), time pressure (adjusted mean 4.41, SE 0.05), and cognitive failures (adjusted mean 1.84, SE 0.02) were observed among those who did not experience any completed or forthcoming implementations within 12 months. Nurses who perceived that they had received sufficient implementation-related training experienced less SRIS (F1=153.40, P<.001), time pressure (F1=80.95, P<.001), and cognitive failures (F1=34.96, P<.001) than those who had received insufficient training. Recent implementations and insufficient training were especially strongly associated with high levels of SRIS in hospitals.

Conclusions: EHR implementations and insufficient training related to these implementations may endanger the well-being of nurses and even lead to errors. Thus, it is extremely important for organizations to offer comprehensive training before, during, and after implementations. Moreover, easy-to-use systems that allow transition periods, a re-engineering approach, and user involvement may be beneficial to nurses in the implementation process. Training and other improvements would be especially important in hospitals.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere27096
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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