EHR switch poses learning curve in the surgical suite

When Brigham and Women’s Hospital left its legacy electronic health records (EHR) system for a commercial offering, a period of adjustment was expected. Leaders scheduled 20 percent fewer surgical cases during the first two weeks of the EHR transition, yet the switch still increased the time between procedures by 19 percent during the first month, and turnover times did not return to the pre-implementation baseline for nine months. The experience shows the importance of adjusting expectations regarding efficiencies that might be gained from a new EHR, and how strong teamwork can overcome the initial learning curve.

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