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Optimal Monitor Size for EMR Charting in 2022

By Team Altus
Published Jun 26, 2020 | Updated Sep 19, 2022 | 5 min read

Healthcare decision-makers are seeking the magic number to unlock clinician productivity when purchasing technology. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all answer as each clinician has a unique workflow. We researched monitor and display sizes that work best for productivity to make the process easier for healthcare executives. Keep reading to learn more.

The Optimal Size

Monitor size is something many nurses and healthcare executives don’t think too hard about. It goes on a workstation, and that can be the end of the conversation. While nurses tend to not think too much about it, with so much time spent looking at a screen to input data, the topic needs to be elevated.

When looking at the correlation between nurse productivity and monitor size, the University of Utah found that monitor displays measuring at least 24 inches, a high screen resolution and contrast delivers better viewing for electronic medical records (EMRs). The higher resolution offers a clearer view and the size offers a more complete look, especially when nurses are gathering information quickly before talking to a new patient.

The study also found the 24-inch monitor display to be the perfect size when considering performance. When moving clinicians from an 18-inch to a 24-inch monitor they found large performance increases, with some reaching up to 52%.

Should We Go Bigger?

The optimal monitor size for productivity is 24 inches since it allows clinicians to take in a lot of information at a glance. But what about a bigger screen? If a 24-inch monitor allows nurses to clearly see their screen and EMR data, shouldn’t a bigger one do the same while still increasing productivity?

To answer this question, the University of Utah conducted a second, separate study. They compared how nurses worked when using a 24-inch monitor with a 26-inch monitor. While the 24-inch size saw up to a 52% increase in productivity, when using a 26-inch monitor display, they saw a 6% decline.

Clinician productivity is likely to decline once the 24-inch demands have been met, so there is no need to go larger.

One Monitor vs. Two

One 24-inch monitor does wonders for productivity, but not larger. The next question in the line of optimal monitor size for EMR charting is whether or not two monitors on a workstation, like our EL3-2, increase productivity.

Jon Peddie Research conducted a study where they found adding a second monitor can increase productivity by 42%. The addition of a second monitor on a workstation allowed clinicians to spread their work out and not have to flip between tabs just to get their work done.

A second monitor allows clinicians to keep one screen facing them to do their work, and turn the second monitor to face their patient, fitting perfectly into the triangle of care, and enhancing the patient experience.

Having dual monitors also puts less of a strain on IT. Budgeting and equipment cost is a large factor part of their jobs. The price of two 24-inch monitors is less than the cost of a larger monitor to offer the same space.

Two monitors allow for optimization of monitor size, number, and budget.

Conclusion

When it comes to creating workstations with productivity in mind, Altus makes sure to check every box. From carts that can hold two monitors, to having a hospital asset tracking system to keep track of the computer workstations, the options are endless.

Contact us today for a needs evaluation, and get started on choosing your workstations.

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