Surgical Preference Cards


By: Ashwin Kulkarni

Published: March 4, 2020

The pitfalls of modern EHRs have been thoroughly documented, from a lack of efficiency to a difficult interface. What began as a promising technology slated to improve interoperability in healthcare has now revealed itself as a burden rather than a benefit, contributing to a high degree of physician burnout throughout the U.S.

In a Mayo Clinic Proceedings study conducted by physician researchers at Stanford Mayo Clinic and the American Medical Association, researchers found a strong correlation between EHR use and high emotional exhaustion and patient depersonalization among over 5,000 physicians who participated in the study. These physicians were found to spend between one and two hours on EHRs and deskwork for every hour they spend in direct face-to-face contact with patients. 

EHRs were found to make patient documentation difficult and communication across care providers confusing, the two benefits that they were supposed to bring to patient care. EHRs within dermatology, orthopedic surgery and general surgery were found to be the most ineffective. Most notably, nearly 46% of surveyed physicians displayed at least one symptom of burnout, correlating highly with the amount of time they had spent using EHRs rather than with patients. These findings lead researchers to give EHRs an “F” grade. In comparison, other electronic tools such as ATMs received a “B” rating while Google’s search engine received an “A” rating.

Electronic health tools can improve the workflow of healthcare professionals, but only when they are developed with the intricacies and nuances of their everyday work. At OR Link, we are committed to improving OR workflow through our digital preference card software to reduce costs, decrease waste, enhance surgical team communication and above all, improve patient safety. Our platform has been developed by surgeons for surgical teams, capturing the characteristics of OR workflow to make sure that our electronic tools are an asset, not a liability. 

Surgeons are able to depict their setup: from anesthetic preferences, monitoring, specific instruments  and other details that are required to successfully conduct an operation. By sharing these accurate, easily-updatable preference cards with their teams, surgeons can update their preference cards as needed while verifying them with nurses, anesthesiologists and other surgeons. Our beta results have shown this software to be a financial asset for surgeons, helping their teams remain organized without the inefficiencies that modern EHRs are currently bringing to providers.

For more information on how our digital preference card can help improve your OR workflow, reach out to us through our “Contact Us” page.

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