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John Martinez

Healthcare Management Optimization through EHR Software

December 8, 2022

EHR, Office Manager 3 Minute Read

EHR solutions are a critical piece of the healthcare tech stack. A feature-rich platform meets the needs of clinicians by streamlining workflows and improving the quality of care. Unfortunately, not all systems deliver the same value and may require users to spend more time with the technology than with patients. In these scenarios, EHRs are more of a hindrance than a help regarding healthcare management.

So, what can your practice do to improve the usability of EHRs in support of healthcare management? EHR optimization is crucial. By maximizing the value of the solution, you gain efficiencies, reduce staff burnout, and enable clinicians to spend more time delivering care.

What Is EHR Optimization?

EHR optimization is the process of identifying and applying solutions to efficiency problems with the platform. The National Academy of Medicine defines it as “a tailored, multipronged strategy that incorporates an organization’s clinician-identified pain points, clinical informatics and technology resources, and clinician and leadership buy-in.”

Without optimization, EHR issues only grow worse, leading to negative consequences. It’s critical to create a strategy by working with EHR experts that understand how your practice runs and how to align EHR workflows.

The Most Common EHR Challenges

EHRs have been a major part of practice function for many years. While the technology has matured considerably, problems remain, particularly regarding usability and workflows. Research on this topic has yielded interesting findings around several key themes.

  • Workflow disruption: Clinicians rarely have uninterrupted time when adding information to or retrieving data from EHRs. It’s a concern but not a prioritized challenge, yet it impacts many clinical tasks.
  • Workflow inconsistency: The idea of workflow is elastic and has many interpretations. One study used screen-capture software to record EHR interactions across a hospital. The findings revealed that workflows, time, and error rates varied considerably. This study demonstrates the gap in user training and knowledge.
  • EHR usability and clinician burnout: A study from the Mayo Clinic found a strong association between the two. Physician burnout has risen to an all-time high, and an EHR that causes more challenges is the last thing they need.

Optimization is the best way to manage these challenges and drive positive returns from your EHR.

Optimizing Your EHR for Smoother Healthcare Management

To make your EHR a tool that improves efficiency and supports clinician decision-making and care, follow these steps.

  • Define the gaps in your current EHR and workflows that contribute to wasted time, poor patient experiences, financial delays, or other operational challenges.
  • Get feedback from users on where pain points exist and look for patterns in responses that indicate the biggest bottlenecks. Also, ask them about their workflows and what devices they use to understand the entire user experience. This will help you develop custom templates to save time.
  • Evaluate technical issues related to EHR usability, such as latency or legacy hardware.
  • Review the training and resources available to users and assess whether it’s effective.
  • Gather all the data and adjust based on what you learn in collaboration with your provider and their support team.
  • Continue to optimize, as this isn’t a one-time exercise.

The Key to Better Practice and Healthcare Management? An Optimized EHR

Your EHR plays a critical role in achieving new benchmarks, growth, and higher quality care. When optimized and customized to fit your needs, the EHR enables you to improve healthcare management. If the platform performs as it should, efficiency increases while user dissatisfaction decreases.

If you need help working toward optimization or transitioning to an EHR that better serves your practice, we can help. Contact us today for a consultation.

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