Journal of Academic Ophthalmology (2020-07-01)

Electronic Health Record Use among Ophthalmology Residents while on Call

  • Christopher P. Long,
  • Ming Tai-Seale,
  • Robert El-Kareh,
  • Jeffrey E. Lee,
  • Sally L. Baxter

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 02
pp. e143 – e150


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Background As electronic health record (EHR) use becomes more widespread, detailed records of how users interact with the EHR, known as EHR audit logs, are being used to characterize the clinical workflows of physicians including residents. After-hours EHR use is of particular interest given its known association with physician burnout. Several studies have analyzed EHR audit logs for residents in other fields, such as internal medicine, but none thus far in ophthalmology. Here, we focused specifically on EHR use during on-call shifts outside of normal clinic hours. Methods In this retrospective study, we analyzed raw EHR audit log data from on-call shifts for 12 ophthalmology residents at a single institution over the course of a calendar year. Data were analyzed to characterize total time spent using the EHR, clinical volume, diagnoses of patients seen on call, and EHR tasks. Results Across all call shifts, the median and interquartile range (IQR) of the time spent logged into the EHR per shift were 88 and 131 minutes, respectively. The median (IQR) unique patient charts accessed per shift was 7 (9) patients. When standardized to per-hour measures, weekday evening shifts were the busiest call shifts with regard to both EHR use time and clinical volume. Total EHR use time and clinical volume were greatest in the summer months (July to September). Chart review comprised a majority (63.4%) of ophthalmology residents' on-call EHR activities. Conclusion In summary, EHR audit logs demonstrate substantial call burden for ophthalmology residents outside of regular clinic hours. These data and future studies can be used to further characterize the clinical exposure and call burden of ophthalmology residents and could potentially have broader implications in the fields of physician burnout and education policy.