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Team is brain: leveraging EHR audit log data for new insights into acute care processes

To determine whether novel measures of contextual factors from multi-site electronic health record (EHR) audit log data can explain variation in clinical process outcomes. We selected one widely-used process outcome: emergency department (ED)-based team time to deliver tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). We evaluated Epic audit log data (that tracks EHR user-interactions) for 3052 AIS patients aged 18+ who received tPA after presenting to an ED at three Northern California health systems (Stanford Health Care, UCSF Health, and Kaiser Permanente Northern California). Our primary outcome was door-to-needle time (DNT) and we assessed bivariate and multivariate relationships with six audit log-derived measures of treatment team busyness and prior team experience. Prior team experience was consistently associated with shorter DNT; teams with greater prior experience specifically on AIS cases had shorter DNT (minutes) across all sites: (Site 1: -94.73, 95% CI: -129.53 to 59.92; Site 2: -80.93, 95% CI: -130.43 to 31.43; Site 3: -42.95, 95% CI: -62.73 to 23.17). Teams with greater prior experience across all types of cases also had shorter DNT at two sites: (Site 1: -6.96, 95% CI: -14.56 to 0.65; Site 2: -19.16, 95% CI: -36.15 to 2.16; Site 3: -11.07, 95% CI: -17.39 to 4.74). Team busyness was not consistently associated with DNT across study sites. EHR audit log data offers a novel, scalable approach to measure key contextual factors relevant to clinical process outcomes across multiple sites. Audit log-based measures of team experience were associated with better process outcomes for AIS care, suggesting opportunities to study underlying mechanisms and improve care through deliberate training, team-building, and scheduling to maximize team experience.

Authors: Rose, Christian; Thombley, Robert; Noshad, Morteza; Lu, Yun; Clancy, Heather A; Schlessinger, David; Li, Ron C; Liu, Vincent X; Chen, Jonathan H; Adler-Milstein, Julia

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022 Dec 13;30(1):8-15.

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