August 12, 2019
While technology is a helping hand to clinicians in modern healthcare, these professionals often struggle with documentation and Electronic Health Record (EHR) workflow challenges. For technology—and EHRs specifically—to be an aid to physicians rather than a burden, these systems must be optimized to reduce workflows while creating a customized user experience.
The core objective of optimizing the EHR is to advance patient care with technology while also ensuring respect and contentment in the profession. EHR optimization reduces workflows by creating standards around them that can be redesigned as needed, decreasing clicks, adding personalization features, and augmenting tech with AI and ambient interface functions such as bots, voice recognition, and gesture-based controls.
The reality for physicians is that they are more predisposed to burnout than any other white-collar profession. In a survey by Medscape, 44% of doctors who participated noted they suffered from burnout.
Physicians, by nature, are faced with various stressful situations throughout their day—from complex patient procedures, to staff management, to tedious documentation tasks, to regulatory compliance changes, and everywhere in between. So, when EHR tools lack the fluency to translate easily into evolving practice workflows, greater frustration is added into their daily lives. In fact, it’s not uncommon for provider satisfaction to actually plummet after EHR implementation—a disruptive factor that increases discontent and anxiety.
Thus, not just any EHR will do.
To work effectively…seamlessly, EHRs must be optimized to meet the practice’s needs. This means convenient functionality and the design of efficient workflows fit to the physician’s preferences. These systems can be further enhanced with AI, allowing EHRs to recognize speech, increasing efficiency while decreasing time spent on documentation tasks, accelerating physician workflows, productivity and practice efficiency.
When physicians have an EHR that enables them to do their job effectively and facilitates better patient care while continually enabling the management of changes in technology and compliance regulations, fewer factors contribute to the stress and likelihood of burnout, increasing overall physician satisfaction.
While seemingly a complex undertaking, the benefits of EHR optimization for healthcare professionals far outweigh the time and effort to design and execute an optimization plan. Here are some key steps to help practices’ streamline their EHR optimization efforts.
Assess Existing Systems
This includes a comprehensive review of how the current EHR is performing to identify specific roadblocks and challenges, usability issues and inefficiencies. By pinpointing problems, practices will have a fundamental framework of improvements to be made.
Create an Action Plan
After the assessment, it’s time to document an action plan to address all the challenges found and determine what factors the project will focus on, i.e., point of care charting, computerized physician order entry, clinical decision support, and more.
Build an EHR Optimization Project Team
Assemble a team of stakeholders to execute the action plan. This team should include staff members that carry out different functions within the organization, ensuring everyone’s priorities are represented.
Cultivate User Buy-In
The goals of the project should align with the goals of each user. The project team must communicate and collaborate to develop staff-wide support and buy-in of the practice’s EHR optimization efforts, soliciting feedback while ensuring their investment in the project is valued.
For more strategies to increase optimization, you can view our recent infographic: Six Strategies to Increase EHR Optimization & Usage.
The main goals of any well-built EHR are to improve physician satisfaction, increase practice efficiency and enhance patient care. EHRs must be geared toward providers spending less time interacting with EHRs through specialized workflows, reduced superfluous data in physician notes, innovative health IT tools that improve usability, access to support and ongoing training, and more. An EHR with features customized to the practice requiring fewer clicks and logins is more likely to be adopted and readily embraced, thereby increasing provider satisfaction and enriching patient care.
At ChartLogic, our mission is to positively impact patient care by delivering the right tools for clinicians. Our award-winning healthcare solutions have been part of the healthcare experience since 1994, and we continue to improve our products to encourage physician satisfaction and patient well-being. Experience why our EHR software is different today.