Recruiting and retaining star talent is a challenge for healthcare facilities today as professionals retire or decide to leave the medical field because of burnout. A key way to keep yours is through creating an environment that supports them and streamlines their work to allow them to focus on providing top-quality patient care—instead of more clerical tasks in your EMR system.
Although choosing and implementing your EMR system of choice is crucial, how you optimize the system will make a huge difference in how you empower your teams; keep them satisfied; and allow them to put their emphasis on patient care and outcomes.
As you plan your own EMR optimization to dovetail with processes and workflows, it makes sense to consider what frustrates physicians and what they appreciate about the technology.
First, we’ll discuss the frustrations. In 2019, a survey-based study identifies seven design elements of EHR systems that cause stress for physicians:
- Information overload
- Slow system response times
- Excessive data entry
- Inability to navigate the system quickly
- Note bloat
- Fear of missing something
- Notes geared toward billing, not patient care
Meanwhile, ways in which well-designed and optimized EHR systems effectively and efficiently support physicians include the:
Readily available information—current and historical
Sharing of information among professionals
Patient portals that allow them direct access to their medical records
So, how can your healthcare organization leverage this information to support your own medical teams?
#1 Gather Information About What Works—And What Doesn’t
Surveys and studies can be quite helpful. What really matters, though, is how your specific medical teams feel about the way that your EMR optimization currently exists. So, gather information about your healthcare organization’s processes and check them against the current EHR workflows. How well do they dovetail? Where are frustrating extra steps included?
Ask end users what they think about the EHR setup. What would they like to see that’s different? Because they’re in the trenches with usage, your end users can provide plenty of creative inputs.
A busy physician with a focus on quality patient care, for example, will want easy access to the information they need to diagnose and treat someone. What clicks could you eliminate with EMR optimization? What questionnaires can you incorporate to gather warning signs of disease so that the physician can home in on this information? What else can you provide to help physicians to make informed decisions without being overwhelmed with data that isn’t relevant to a patient?
#2 Weigh the Pros and Cons of EHR Optimization Versus Replacement
The goal is to create the most intuitive end-user experience possible. So, once you know what frustrations your medical teams have and what they’d appreciate having, you can consider the two main routes of improvement: EHR optimization or replacement.
In general, EHR optimization can be the route to consider first. Your application may already contain tools to help solve your problem. It’s one where your teams feel comfortable, and optimizations won’t require you to clean, categorize, and migrate data like you would with a new brand.
That said, if the current system no longer meshes with your operations—perhaps because of mergers and acquisitions or another form of consolidation—then exploring different brands can be fruitful.
#3 Provide Education, Training, and Process Documentation
No matter whether you decide to optimize your current system or implement a new one, it’s crucial to educate your end users on what you’re doing and how it affects them. A lack of knowledge will frustrate the professionals you’re trying to retain—while providing engaging and interactive training sessions will allow you to gather feedback and make further iterations on your new workflows.
Process documentation captured can form the basis of training manuals. These can be used during initial training sessions as well as to onboard new employees who are still unfamiliar with the system. They can be used for refresher training programs and serve as reference manuals near workstations.
The main forms of training include doing so by end-user groups, and teaching them how to navigate the application based on their role usage. Or you can train super users, perhaps your in-house IT team, who will then serve as expert resources for the rest of your staff.
EHR Configuration and Optimization: IT Professionals
Each healthcare organization has its own unique EMR optimization needs as the steps listed above demonstrate. To gather the applicable information, make relevant analyses, and give appropriate recommendations, you need people who are skilled and experienced in the process. You will likely find some people with the right niche skill sets on your in-house IT team, but it’s also normal to need to supplement them with consultants to enhance the technology to satisfy your healthcare teams, including your top talent.
That’s where we come in. HealthTECH Resources maintains a wide network of EHR consultants, contract-to-hire professionals, and permanent placements. They will collaborate with your healthcare organization, working alongside your in-house team to solidify what you require and configure the application in precisely those ways.
Our outstanding leadership and twenty-plus-years of experience allow our boutique-style agency to provide the experts you need in:
- Epic configuration
- Oracle Cerner configuration
- Allscripts/Altera configuration
- MEDITECH configuration
- NextGen configuration
Well-optimized systems are, naturally enough, adopted at higher rates, especially when facilitated by quality training programs. They can serve as an enticing recruitment element, satisfy team members, help to prevent burnout, and aid in the retention of quality employees.
Contact HealthTECH Resources for EHR Optimization
Our industry connections are across the nation. So, when you need to augment your staff with excellent IT experts, we can rapidly fulfill your requests. In fact, we can often have them on your site within forty-eight hours. Contact us online or call (602) 903-7961!
PRESIDENT/CEO AT HEALTHTECH RESOURCES
Larry has specialized in building strategic healthcare relationships for over 25 years, helping the nation’s top payors and providers solve some of their most pressing business challenges through an intelligent mix of staffing services, training, and consulting.