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Using EHR audit trail logs to analyze clinical workflow: A case study from community-based ambulatory clinics.


To develop a workflow-supported clinical documentation system, it is a critical first step to understand clinical workflow. While Time and Motion studies has been regarded as the gold standard of workflow analysis, this method can be resource consuming and its data may be biased due to the cognitive limitation of human observers. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the feasibility and validity of using EHR audit trail logs to analyze clinical workflow. Specifically, we compared three known workflow changes from our previous study with the corresponding EHR audit trail logs of the study participants. The results showed that EHR audit trail logs can be a valid source for clinical workflow analysis, and can provide an objective view of clinicians' behaviors, multi-dimensional comparisons, and a highly extensible analysis framework.

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