Exploring the relationship between electronic health records and provider burnout: A systematic review

Qi Yan, Zheng Jiang, Zachary Harbin, Preston H. Tolbert, Mark G. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Stress and burnout due to electronic health record (EHR) technology has become a focus for burnout intervention. The aim of this study is to systematically review the relationship between EHR use and provider burnout. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed on PubMed, EMBASE, PsychInfo, ACM Digital Library in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. Inclusion criterion was original research investigating the association between EHR and provider burnout. Studies that did not measure the association objectively were excluded. Study quality was assessed using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument. Qualitative synthesis was also performed. RESULTS: Twenty-six studies met inclusion criteria. The median sample size of providers was 810 (total 20 885; 44% male; mean age 53 [range, 34-56] years). Twenty-three (88%) studies were cross-sectional studies and 3 were single-arm cohort studies measuring pre- and postintervention burnout prevalence. Burnout was assessed objectively with various validated instruments. Insufficient time for documentation (odds ratio [OR], 1.40-5.83), high inbox or patient call message volumes (OR, 2.06-6.17), and negative perceptions of EHR by providers (OR, 2.17-2.44) were the 3 most cited EHR-related factors associated with higher rates of provider burnout that was assessed objectively. CONCLUSIONS: The included studies were mostly observational studies; thus, we were not able to determine a causal relationship. Currently, there are few studies that objectively assessed the relationship between EHR use and provider burnout. The 3 most cited EHR factors associated with burnout were confirmed and should be the focus of efforts to improve EHR-related provider burnout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1021
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 23 2021


  • electronic health records
  • health information technology
  • provider burnout
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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