Electronic health records, physician workflows and system change: defining a pathway to better healthcare
The current patient care workflow for physicians and healthcare providers includes multi-level communication structures (i.e., doctor-patient communication; doctor-nurse communication, etc.) and a wide variety of data management systems (1). When seeking to understand how to advocate for system changes that might improve workflow, a primary requirement is to first establish a definition and standard description of workflow components. It is also important to review the history behind current workflow structures and acknowledge current system successes as new implementations can disrupt what is already working. A functional and historical review can help to frame current needs and strategies for developing and implementing system changes to improve workflow and patient care.