Optimizing the patient handoff and progress note documentation efficiency in the EPIC EMR system within a neurosurgery residency: A quality improvement initiative

Mykhaylo D. Krushelnytskyy*, Mark W. Youngblood, Maciej S. Lesniak, Hanna R. Kemeny, Luis G. Fernandez, Kirsten L.Bell Burdett, Hui Zhang, Tord D. Alden, Nader S. Dahdaleh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Handoffs and documentation are a potentially modifiable source of medical error. However, little attention has been given to enhancement of these within the neurosurgical field. We aim to increase efficiency and accuracy of neurosurgical handoffs, including the neurological exam, thus decreasing medical documentation time within current duty-hour restrictions. Methods: The existing Epic electronic medical record system was modified to include the neurological exam in the handoff: a tool used to generate lists including relevant patient clinical details and plans. The handoff tool was also converted into a subjective, objective, assessment, and plan (SOAP) format, which was leveraged to efficiently generate daily progress notes. A four-question survey was developed to assess the effectiveness of this new format. Mean note times were compared before and after the EPIC update using an independent samples t-test. Results: All of the surveyed neurosurgery residents at our institution reported a decrease in documentation time per progress note, felt the notes were more accurate, and found it easier to recall the neurological exams of patients. 8/9 residents felt that the new handoff made in-house call less stressful. There was a significant difference in mean note time, with the mean note time of 37.9 s after the EPIC upgrade compared to 120 s prior the upgrade. We project that over 241 h of documentation will be saved annually at our institution. Conclusions: This QI project demonstrates how a low-effort initiative improved resident recall of patients’ neurological exams while saving time spent documenting daily progress notes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-90
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Volume105
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • EMR
  • Efficiency
  • Handoff
  • Neurosurgery
  • Residency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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