Utilizing eye tracking to assess electronic health record use by pharmacists in the intensive care unit

Dean Kang, Patrick Charlton, David E. Applebury, Eric J. Robinson, Matthias J. Merkel, Sandra Rowe, Vishnu Mohan, Jeffrey A. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: A study was conducted using high-fidelity electronic health record (EHR)-based simulations with incorporated eye tracking to understand the workflow of critical care pharmacists within the EHR, with specific attention to the data elements most frequently viewed. Methods: Eight critical care pharmacists were given 25 minutes to review 3 simulated intensive care unit (ICU) charts deployed in the simulation instance of the EHR. Using monitor-based eye trackers, time spent reviewing screens, clinical information accessed, and screens used to access specific information were reviewed and quantified to look for trends. Results: Overall, pharmacists viewed 25.5 total and 15.1 unique EHR screens per case. The majority of time was spent looking at screens focused on medications, followed by screens displaying notes, laboratory values, and vital signs. With regard to medication data, the vast majority of screen visitations were to view information on opioids/sedatives and antibiotics. With regard to laboratory values, the majority of views were focused on basic chemistry and hematology data. While there was significant variance between pharmacists, individual navigation patterns remained constant across cases. Conclusion: The study results suggest that in addition to medication information, laboratory data and clinical notes are key focuses of ICU pharmacist review of patient records and that navigation to multiple screens is required in order to view these data with the EHR. New pharmacy-specific EHR interfaces should consolidate these elements within a primary interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2018-2025
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2022


  • electronic health records
  • eye tracking
  • intensive care unit
  • simulation
  • usability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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