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Jerris Heaton

EHR-Supplied Timestamp Data Provides Critical Healthcare Insights

February 8, 2021

EHR 3 Minute Read

In today’s healthcare environment, finding ways to boost efficiency without sacrificing quality of care is the name of the game – and EHR-supplied timestamp data goes a long way toward achieving that goal.

Timestamp data gives practices, providers, health systems and researchers another tool for measuring exam length and other time-related aspects of care, helping them collect actionable insights about the patient journey that go beyond the traditional, retroactive surveys of the past.

Key Findings from Recent Research into EHR Timestamp Data

A recent study published in Medical Care made good use of a wealth of EHR data, using this timestamp information to look into how providers are spending time with patients – and where that time might be used more efficiently.

EHR Timestamp Data, Patient Care

After analyzing more than 21 million primary care visits that took place in 2017, the study found:

  • The average primary care exam was 18 minutes long.
  • On average, exams ran 1.2 minutes long.
  • A visit scheduled to take 10-15 minutes was more likely to run past that period than visits slated to take 20-30 minutes.
  • Over 66% of visits went off schedule for more than five minutes on average.

Overall, striking a balance between spending enough time with a patient to reap the benefits of provider-patient interaction and overdoing it, so to speak, is difficult. More complex patients certainly need more interaction but overbooking longer visits could lead to the wasting of time and resources.

How EHR Timestamp Data Is Set to Elevate EHR Use

While EHR timestamp data can provide meaningful looks into how providers are spending their time, they need to encourage usability and the tracking of a wide range of timestamped information to provide measurable benefits.

EHRs can be a cause of physician burnout and dissatisfaction, particularly when they require a significant amount of time to use. Providers should be spending their time helping patients achieve better outcomes, not wrestling with a difficult-to-use EHR system.

EHR Timestamp Data, Patient Care

When EHRs collect and offer providers meaningful data, they can provide scheduling guidance, better identification of outliers and misused time, and more.

As providers, health systems and researchers work to better understand the relationship between exam length and quality care, these best practices can help improve overall efficiency and accuracy in scheduling:

  • Implementation of and training support for more user-friendly EHR solutions that cut down on burnout and free up physicians to spend more time with patients
  • Thorough analysis of clinical workflow with timestamp data
  • Scheduling patients who need more time toward the end of the day to reduce wait times
  • Helping contribute to interoperability and the development of standards and definitions that could ensure EHR solutions track appropriate timestamp data
  • Diving into EHR data regarding content of appointments and time spent/subsequent follow-up care to better define which appointments take longest and produce the highest quality outcomes

ChartLogic is working to provide physicians and practices with a robust, user-friendly EHR solution that elevates outcomes and efficiency. To learn more, click here.

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