Monitor Preference for Electronic Medical Record in Outpatient Clinic

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This is a review of Lee, K-H., Bae, W.K., Han, J.S., Yoo, S., Kim, J.S., Yun, J., Baek, H.Y., Baek, R-M., & Hwang, H. (2012). “Monitor Preference for Electronic Medical Record in Outpatient Clinic”. [1]


Physicians are required to review, analyze and enter many different types of clinical data when they are seeing patients in the outpatient environment. Determining what type of monitor configuration would best facilitate efficiency and reduce user fatigue is of great importance to ensure optimal performance and user satisfaction. User interface has been cited as one of the barriers to the implementation of computer provider order entry systems as is noted in the review Summary and Frequency of Barriers to Adoption of CPOE in the U.S..


Lee et al., (2012) used three different sizes of monitor configurations in this experiment: the first was a high definition (HD) 22-inch dual, a HD 24-inch dual and the wide quad HD 27-inch single monitor configuration.Four clinicians who have expertise in informatics developed the survey instrument to determine monitor preference among outpatient physicians. The topics looked at in the survey were the monitor with the highest efficiency in practice, the monitor with the least fatigue, the monitor with the best space utilization at the clinic desk, the monitor with the highest efficiency in terms of patient satisfaction, and the monitor with the highest suitability for outpatient clinics.Fifteen attending doctors took the initial survey followed by several other rounds of data gathering concluding with calculating the number of votes to conclude which monitor was the most favored.


The 27-inch single monitor was the most often chosen configuration of the three surveyed. Survey takers decisively believed the 27-inch was the most appropriate for the outpatient environment and made the most efficient use of the clinic space available according to Lee et al., (2012). Respondents also favored the 27-inch monitor as the least likely to cause bodily tiredness.

There are examples of literature to be found that attempts to identify correlates to having implemented an EHR, such a paper is “Correlates of electronic health record adoption in office practices: a statewide survey”.


Lee et al., (2012) showed that if an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is intended to be implemented with a 27-inch monitor and decisions are made to instead try larger monitors with higher resolution, the usability experienced is not necessarily going to improve and that it may even suffer in certain situations. Lee et al., (2012) also stated that healthcare systems when updating information system hardware should consider going with the WQHD 27-inch single monitor configuration as a substitute for a wide type dual monitor arrangement. This is a very interesting paper on a topic not given a lot of investigation, that being monitor configuration set-up. Lee et al., did recognize that their study entailed a small sample size however the extent to which they surveyed many physicians across many specialties was impressive and I believe this greatly strengthened their findings. Usability must be kept in mind when implementing a clinical information system.


  1. Lee, K-H., Bae, W.K., Han, J.S., Yoo, S., Kim, J.S., Yun, J., Baek, H.Y., Baek, R-M., & Hwang, H. (2012). Monitor Preference for Electronic Medical Record in Outpatient Clinic. Healthcare Informatics Research; 18(4): 266-71. doi: 10.4258/hir.2012.18.4.266.