NEW STUDY: "Differences in Health Professionals’ Engagement With Electronic Health Records Based on Inpatient Race and Ethnicity"


At two large academic medical centers a review of electronic health record (EHR) user access logs found that EHRs of adult inpatients from minority racial and ethnic populations on average received lower engagement from health care teams than the records of white adult inpatients.

The finding, reported Oct. 9 in JAMA Network Open by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, measures EHR engagement in terms of health care team interactions per hour with the EHR during the adult inpatient stay, reflecting user activities such as reviewing test results, updating clinical notes, and maintaining active medications.

“Our premise in undertaking this analysis is that EHR engagement, as reflected in access logs, is an overlooked but important measure of clinical effort and attention,” said the report’s lead author, Chao Yan, PhD, a research fellow in Biomedical Informatics at VUMC. “Our findings, as well as the analysis framework itself, provide an opportunity to detect potentially unknown disparities in health care.”

From VUMC, the r­eport’s co-first author is PhD student Xinmeng Zhang and the senior authors are You Chen, PhD, assistant professor Biomedical Informatics, and Bradley Malin, PhD, Accenture professor of Biomedical Informatics. Others on the study from VUMC include Kaidi Kang, MS, Martin Were, MD, MS, Peter Embí, MD, MS, and Mayur Patel, MD, MPH. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants LM012854, HG012510, AG058639, GM120484).

Read more in the VUMC Reporter