A multisite survey study of EMR review habits, information needs, and display preferences among medical ICU clinicians evaluating new patients

Matthew E. Nolan, Rodrigo Cartin-Ceba, Pablo Moreno-Franco, Brian Pickering, Vitaly Herasevich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective The electronic chart review habits of intensive care unit (ICU) clinicians admitting new patients are largely unknown but necessary to inform the design of existing and future critical care information systems. Methods We conducted a survey study to assess the electronic chart review practices, information needs, workflow, and data display preferences among medical ICU clinicians admitting new patients. We surveyed rotating residents, critical care fellows, advanced practice providers, and attending physicians at three Mayo Clinic sites (Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona) via email with a single follow-up reminder message. Results Of 234 clinicians invited, 156 completed the full survey (67% response rate). Ninety-two percent of medical ICU clinicians performed electronic chart review for the majority of new patients. Clinicians estimated spending a median (interquartile range (IQR)) of 15 (10–20) minutes for a typical case, and 25 (15–40) minutes for complex cases, with no difference across training levels. Chart review spans 3 or more years for two-thirds of clinicians, with the most relevant categories being imaging, laboratory studies, diagnostic studies, microbiology reports, and clinical notes, although most time is spent reviewing notes. Most clinicians (77%) worry about overlooking important information due to the volume of data (74%) and inadequate display/organization (63%). Potential solutions are chronologic ordering of disparate data types, color coding, and explicit data filtering techniques. The ability to dynamically customize information display for different users and varying clinical scenarios is paramount. Conclusion Electronic chart review of historical data is an important, prevalent, and potentially time-consuming activity among medical ICU clinicians who would benefit from improved information display systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1207
Number of pages11
JournalApplied clinical informatics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


  • Clinical informatics
  • Data display
  • Electronic health records
  • Information needs
  • Intensive care units

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Information Management


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