NIST Outlines Steps To Improve Integration of EHRs Into Workflow

March 13, 2014 in News

A new National Institute of Standards and Technology report offers recommendations on how electronic health record developers and ambulatory care centers can better integrate EHR systems into clinical workflow, FierceHealthIT reports.

Study Details

For the study, NIST relied on workflow modeling tools and talked to physicians and interdisciplinary teams to gauge problems and develop possible solutions.

The researchers found that many organizations develop workarounds if their EHR systems are difficult to integrate into their processes, which can create a variety of problems.


Overall, the report suggested changing the focus of EHR use from billing to care-centric functions.

For EHR developers, the report recommended:

  • Designing EHRs to promote eye contact and communication with patients;
  • Drafting pre-populated orders that can be executed at a later time; and
  • Making it easier for staff to review results with patients.

For ambulatory care centers, the report recommended:

  • Designing rooms that bolster patient communication and EHR access;
  • Easing requirements to enter detailed patient data during busy hours; and
  • Minimizing duplicative data (Hall, FierceHealthIT, 3/12).
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