Fighting Burnout From Utilizing the Electronic Health Record

By: Angela Hollingsworth

Are you tired of hearing the phrase, “If you didn’t document it, you didn’t do it”?  Many health care organizations require bedside charting, which is supposed to give the nurse more time at the bedside ––not only to improve documentation, but to improve quality of care as well (Habibi-Koolaee et al, 2015). However, are you really spending quality time with the patient if you are glued to the computer screen while the patient looks to you for conversation? Administrative duties such as charting can be truly demanding for nurses, especially if the nurse is older and not computer savvy (Habibi-Koolaee et. al, 2015).  The high demand to get everything charted can lead to frustration and burnout for the nurse, so what is the answer?

Though computer charting is the standard of care, achieving a relationship with your patient is at the forefront. Bedside charting can be beneficial if the nurse knows what to do to relieve the frustrations that come along with it. So here are some answers.

  • Educate yourself. Take classes to improve your knowledge of computer applications and operations (Habibi-Koolaee et al., 2015)
  • Voice your opinion. Don’t let the new electronic health record (EHR) be a barrier to your work. Administration wants your input. Get involved in selecting the EHR system (Trossman, 2015).
  • Keep a positive mind. Don’t let a negative attitude prevent you from embracing technology in nursing (Trossman, 2015). Positive outcomes have been known to be achieved from EHRs including uniformity, attainability, decrease in errors, safeguards for patient record security and privacy, and the streamlining of documentation (RegisteredNursing.org, n.d.). Don’t stay mindful only of the negatives.
  • Take care of yourself. High quality of care and patient interactions can be arduous and overpowering (Helpguide.org, d.). Consider yourself a garden in need of constant care.

See your physician, work out, eat nutritious meals, and get a good night’s sleep (Helpguide, n.d.).

With proper care, you can be a nurse with unlimited possibilities. Burnout will be a thing of the past and you will exude a positive force behind the technology in your field of work. Take the initiative to be the best. Your patients and your facility will be forever grateful. And finally, look for the three-part TEQ Blog series on EHR engagement, coming soon. Part 1 focuses on patient-centered care. Parts 2 will look at provider engagement and EHRs and Part 3 will focus on nursing education.


References

Habibi-Koolaee, M., Safdari, R., & Bouraghi, H. (2015). Nurses readiness and electronic health records. Acta Informatica Medica, 23(2), 105-107.

HelpGuide.org (n.d.). Caregiver stress and burnout. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/caregiver-stress-and-burnout.htm

RegisteredNursing.org (n.d.). What are some pros and cons of using electronic charting (EMR)? https://www.registerednursing.org/answers/pros-cons-using-electronic-charting/

Trossman, S. (2015). Collaboration is key: Nurse experts discuss challenges, pose solutions. The American Nurse, 47(5), 1, 8-9.

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