Optimize Your EHR
Today's hospitals and physician offices have invested heavily in electronic medical records (EMR) systems. However, despite the expense, many have not learned how to harvest the value from their electronic health records (EHR). They have not made the effort to optimize. Your EHR should be an asset, and not a major liability.
In addition, many physicians are not properly using their EHR and suffering from inefficient workflows. We all need to get physicians, physician extenders and nurses working at peak efficiency and effectiveness. There are three major steps in the journey to optimize your EHR:
Assess and Measure
Optimization always begins with assessing your current state. It is especially helpful to observe clinicians actually using the EHR for patient care. This typically provides some immediate quick wins for your team.
We also want to look at reports from the practice/hospital on productivity and system utilization. While some EMR vendors such as Cerner provide tools to help with this process, they still need validation against actual workflow observation to avoid any gross misinterpretation of the reports.
Develop a Plan
Once observations, interviews and reports reveal opportunities for improvement, we propose a plan to optimize both the EMR content/tools and the clinical workflows. We collaborate to refine and prioritize the road map to optimize your EHR.
This plan includes measurable goals. It also includes a plan to implement the changes as well as to train the users on the new features and any workflow changes. We decide what changes can be rolled out together and any that have to occur in a staged manner.
Implement and Reassess
This becomes a great opportunity to close training gaps that have led to workarounds and confusion over optimal use of the EHR. Each user of the EHR should achieve new proficiency and efficiency during these steps.
It is important to support this with both qualitative and quantitative data to demonstrate success in these efforts. While many benefits will be immediate, it is important to tweak and refine work with individual users to achieve maximum effect. Often, we will discover other opportunities as users improve and see positive results from our mutual efforts.