Cerner Powerchart Tricks for Nurses

Cerner PowerChart is an electronic health record system widely used in the healthcare industry. For nurses, mastering this tool is essential to efficiently navigate patient records and ensure timely and quality care. However, the system can be overwhelming to learn, and knowing some effective tricks can significantly improve a nurse’s ability to make the most of PowerChart.

This article aims to share some valuable Cerner PowerChart tricks that can help nurses enhance their workflow, reduce time spent on documentation, and increase the overall efficiency of patient care. By implementing these tips and techniques, nurses can increase their confidence and expertise in using the PowerChart system, ultimately contributing to better patient outcomes.

Navigating PowerChart

Using the Patient List

In Cerner PowerChart, the patient list is an essential feature that allows nurses to easily manage and track their patients. To access this list, simply click on the “Patient List” tab located at the top of the main window. Here, nurses can find all relevant patient information such as demographics, room numbers, and medical history. PowerChart also allows users to filter and sort patients based on specific criteria, such as location or attending physician. This allows for quick access to patient information and efficient management of daily tasks.

Accessing Patient Charts

Once the patient list has been set up, nurses can access the patient chart by double-clicking on the desired patient’s name. The chart provides an in-depth overview of the patient’s medical history as well as current vitals, laboratory results, and care plans. PowerChart offers several views and options for chart navigation, such as the summary view and the graphical view. Nurses can toggle between these views by selecting the appropriate option from the toolbar located at the top of the screen. Mastering Cerner PowerChart: 10 Essential Tricks for Nurses also provides further insights on navigating the patient chart efficiently.

Customizing the Toolbar

PowerChart’s toolbar can be customized to meet the specific needs of each nurse. To personalize the toolbar, simply right-click on the toolbar area and select “Customize Toolbar” from the context menu. In the customization window, users will find a variety of tools and shortcuts that can be added or removed based on their preferences. For example, a nurse may want to add a shortcut to document vital signs or access the medication history quickly. Customizing the toolbar helps improve workflow efficiency as it allows for quick access to frequently used features. The Basic PowerChart Reference Guide contains additional information about toolbar customization.

Overall, navigating PowerChart effectively is crucial for nurses to provide high-quality patient care. Familiarizing yourself with the patient list, accessing patient charts, and customizing the toolbar are essential steps to mastering PowerChart’s features and improving your efficiency in daily tasks.

Efficient Documentation

Auto Text Features

Cerner PowerChart offers a helpful feature called Auto Text, which allows nurses to create and manage pre-written phrases or sentences to be inserted into documentation quickly and easily. By utilizing this feature, nurses can save time and ensure consistency in their documentation. For example, some commonly used Auto Texts can be created for routine patient assessments or specific care plans. To manage your Auto Texts, simply go to Autotext -> Manage Auto Text in PowerChart. Learn more about it in this PDF Eight Efficiency Boosting Tips for Cerner Users.

Streamlining Order Entry

Efficient order entry is crucial for nurses to manage their workload and provide timely care to patients. Cerner PowerChart offers various shortcuts and customizations to streamline this process. For instance, nurses can utilize Order Sets, which are pre-built groupings of commonly ordered items for specific conditions or procedures. This helps reduce the time spent on manual order entry while ensuring that all necessary items are included. Additionally, making use of the search function can make it easier to find specific orders and medications. Find more tips related to Cerner EMR efficiency on this article.

Quick Orders and Favorites

Another way to improve documentation efficiency in Cerner PowerChart is by leveraging Quick Orders and Favorites. Quick Orders are pre-defined order templates that can be accessed and applied with just a few clicks, saving both time and effort. Favorites, on the other hand, are personalized lists of frequently used orders or medications that can be customized according to each nurse’s preferences. By adding these frequently used items to your Favorites list, you can significantly shorten the time it takes to enter orders. Watch this PowerChart Nursing Documentation Module on YouTube for more information.

Clinical Decision Support

Interpreting Alerts

Cerner PowerChart provides clinical decision support through the use of alerts. These alerts can help nurses make informed decisions in real-time. It is essential for nurses to understand and properly interpret these alerts to improve patient outcomes. For example, a drug interaction alert may inform a nurse of potential adverse effects when administering medications. Nurses should always verify the alert’s accuracy and review the patient’s information before making any clinical decisions based on the alert.

Applying Order Sets

Order sets are pre-built templates that include specific orders for treating a condition or performing a procedure. PowerChart offers the ability to apply order sets to streamline the clinical documentation process and promote standardized care. Nurses can search for relevant order sets by using keyword searches or browsing through a list. By applying order sets, nurses can ensure that they follow evidence-based practices leading to better patient outcomes. It is essential to customize the order set when needed to suit the patient’s unique needs.

Reference Lab Values

Cerner PowerChart also provides quick access to reference lab values for various tests. These values are essential in making clinical decisions. Nurses can compare a patient’s test results with the normal ranges, helping them determine if any interventions are needed. To access reference lab values:

  1. Navigate to the patient’s chart.
  2. Click on the “Results” tab.
  3. Locate the test result of interest.
  4. Reference values will be displayed alongside the numeric result.

By utilizing PowerChart’s clinical decision support tools, such as interpreting alerts, applying order sets, and referencing lab values, nurses can make more informed decisions and provide high-quality care.

Time-Saving Tips

Keyboard Shortcuts

Mastering the use of keyboard shortcuts can streamline daily tasks and save valuable time. Here are a few helpful keyboard shortcuts in Cerner PowerChart:

  • F2: Opens the Patient Chart
  • F4: Quick search
  • Ctrl+Shift+I: Insert AutoText
  • Ctrl+Shift+S: Save

These shortcuts can help nurses quickly navigate through the platform without the need to constantly rely on their mouse.

Utilizing Smart Templates

Cerner PowerChart allows nurses to create customized templates, which can automatically populate patient information and reduce time spent on repetitive documentation. Here is a list of Smart Templates to consider:

  1. Vital signs and assessments: Record patient assessments efficiently.
  2. Medication administration: Simplify and speed up the process of medication documentation.
  3. Patient education: Streamline educational documentation and ensure consistent information is provided.

By utilizing these templates, nurses can increase their overall efficiency and focus on providing quality patient care.

Batch Signing Orders

Batch signing orders is another time-saving trick that can help nurses in their daily tasks. This feature allows clinicians to review and sign multiple orders at once. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Orders in the main toolbar.
  2. Choose Sign Orders from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select the orders that need to be signed, then click Sign All.

Batch signing not only saves time but also ensures that important orders are not missed in the process. Utilizing this feature can help in maintaining an efficient workflow within the healthcare team.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Correcting Entry Errors

When encountering entry errors in Cerner PowerChart, it is essential to address them promptly to maintain accurate patient records. To correct such errors, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the erroneous entry in the patient’s chart.
  2. Click on the Modify or Edit button associated with the entry.
  3. Update the necessary fields with the correct information.
  4. Save the changes by clicking the Save or Submit button.

Remember that some entries may require authorization from a supervisor before modification.

Restoring Archived Data

In situations where archived data needs to be restored in PowerChart, follow the procedure below to ensure proper documentation:

  1. Access the patient’s electronic health record (EHR).
  2. Click the More button, and select Show Archived Data.
  3. Locate the desired archived items and click on the Restore icon.

This will make the archived data visible and accessible within the patient’s chart.

Managing Alert Fatigue

Experiencing alert fatigue is common among healthcare professionals, especially when using EHR systems like Cerner PowerChart. To better manage alert fatigue, consider these tips:

  • Prioritize alertsDistinguish between high-priority and low-priority alerts to focus on clinically significant notifications.
  • Adjust notification settingsTailor the frequency and type of notifications you receive by visiting the Options > User Preferences menu.
  • Utilize downtimeSchedule periodic breaks or quiet hours to minimize interruptions and recharge.

Utilizing the provided strategies can help mitigate common issues encountered in Cerner PowerChart, allowing nurses to provide optimal patient care.


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