Issue focus: burnout and patient-centeredness

May 4, 2022

Jenna Marquard

Jenna Marquard

While the severe nursing workforce shortage and pandemic-related burnout envelope Minnesota and the nation, questions about what factors have a negative impact nurse stress, fatigue and burnout have been raised.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic recently published a review in Applied Clinical Informatics of 18 studies focused on evaluating the time health care clinicians spend using the EHR. They found that nurses in the studies spent on average 22% of their workday interacting with the EHR. Unfortunately, the EHRs that nurses interact with are often inefficient and can interfere with patient care, with problems ranging from difficult to navigate user interfaces to notes containing excessive and potentially irrelevant information. All of these issues have a negative impact on nurse stress, fatigue and burnout. 

Professor Jenna Marquard’s research background in human factors makes her both a technology enthusiast and technology-wary. Nursing work is information-intensive and the EHR has significant potential to support the work. We have a long way to go, but the health informatics and human factors design communities are forming partnerships to develop technologies and interventions that improve system safety and performance and increase end user satisfaction.

Marquard, PhD, partners with clinicians across the country to answer questions like “How can we design clinical notes to support the efficient information search?”, “What are the implications of using free-text non-medication orders in the EHR, for the individual placing the order and the one carrying out the order?”, and “How can we efficiently display patient-generated data like home blood pressure readings and medication-taking behaviors in the EHR in ways the support decision making?” In each case, her research teams seek to better understand clinicians’ current behaviors and desires regarding the use of health information technologies, and make design changes that increase efficiency, safety, and user satisfaction, alleviating burnout rather than adding to it.