Interaction Time with Electronic Health Records: A Systematic Review

Yuliya Pinevich, Kathryn J. Clark, Andrew M. Harrison, Brian W. Pickering, Vitaly Herasevich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background The amount of time that health care clinicians (physicians and nurses) spend interacting with the electronic health record is not well understood. Objective This study aimed to evaluate the time that health care providers spend interacting with electronic health records (EHR). Methods Data are retrieved from Ovid MEDLINE(R) and Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations and Daily, (Ovid) Embase, CINAHL, and SCOPUS. Study Eligibility Criteria Peer-reviewed studies that describe the use of EHR and include measurement of time either in hours, minutes, or in the percentage of a clinician's workday. Papers were written in English and published between 1990 and 2021. Participants All physicians and nurses involved in inpatient and outpatient settings. Study Appraisal and Synthesis Methods A narrative synthesis of the results, providing summaries of interaction time with EHR. The studies were rated according to Quality Assessment Tool for Studies with Diverse Designs. Results Out of 5,133 de-duplicated references identified through database searching, 18 met inclusion criteria. Most were time-motion studies (50%) that followed by logged-based analysis (44%). Most were conducted in the United States (94%) and examined a clinician workflow in the inpatient settings (83%). The average time was nearly 37% of time of their workday by physicians in both inpatient and outpatient settings and 22% of the workday by nurses in inpatient settings. The studies showed methodological heterogeneity. Conclusion This systematic review evaluates the time that health care providers spend interacting with EHR. Interaction time with EHR varies depending on clinicians' roles and clinical settings, computer systems, and users' experience. The average time spent by physicians on EHR exceeded one-third of their workday. The finding is a possible indicator that the EHR has room for usability, functionality improvement, and workflow optimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number210118r
Pages (from-to)788-799
Number of pages12
JournalApplied clinical informatics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • electronic health records and systems
  • inpatient (inpatient CPOE)
  • task performance and analysis
  • time and motion
  • workflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Information Management


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