Unfortunately, nursing documentation in electronic health records (EHR) has become a house with data “treasures” piled to the rafters—much of it “just in case” it might be needed.  In a study of nursing documentation at Bon Secours Health System, CNO Patricia Sengstack (personal communication, 2016) found that just completing the nursing admission assessment required that nurses access 14 different screens and complete 153 “required fields,” using a total of 539 key clicks to do so. Based on this study, Sengstack estimated that only 25% of the nursing data in the EHR was useful to nurses.  In fact, most of the nurses’ documentation was never read by another nurse, let alone another health professional.  Bon Secours is now engaged in serious house cleaning to see what data can be eliminated, not only in the admission assessment, but in other areas. Sadly, the burden of nursing documentation is not restricted to acute care settings. Nursing assessments are even more time-consuming in home health, where Nancy Staggers (personal communication, 2016) reports that they routinely consume two hours of a nurse’s day. 

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