Physician Satisfaction with Electronic Health Records – the Data Might Surprise You – Part 2

The following is a guest article by Heather Haugen from Atos and Mitchell Josephson from KLAS.

In case you missed part 1 of the EHR Physician Satisfaction Series, be sure you read it to understand the research background behind these predictors of EHR satisfaction and to learn about the first two predictors of physician satisfaction: Training & Education and Communication & Governance.

In part 2 of this series, we’ll share what the research tells us about two other important predictors of physician EHR satisfaction: Data Insights and Long-term Focus.

Data insights: It can be challenging to collect, analyze and gain insight from disparate systems. Many organizations should take the opportunity to measure important clinical and financial parameters to gauge their success. Measured data often reveals areas that would benefit from process improvement, education or best practice guidelines. This data is valuable, but we also must ensure it is accurate, timely, and provides key insights that drive change and improvement.

  • Work with your teams to establish your KPIs
  • Set realistic goals to gain momentum: share results early and often
  • Be relentless in the pursuit of clinical and financial outcomes
  • Commit to utilizing metrics to identify areas for improvement and follow through with proposed changes
  • Don’t try to boil the ocean: start with a basic metric that will show a real impact, such as the percent of charts closed each day, or time spent on after-hours charting, for example. Establish a baseline, apply the intervention, and then measure your users’ post experience. Understanding progress in iterations can help save thousands of dollars and hours of frustration.
  • Seek feedback from end users, especially disenfranchised ones. Organizations who can engage the toughest customers and still show improved outcomes have the best chance of not only deeper engagement, but becoming strong advocates.

Long-term Focus: Most organizations grossly underestimate the effort and resources required to sustain the long-term adoption of an EHR. The hard work really begins after go-live. Organizations that underestimate the “care and feeding” required for an EHR never truly gain the promised value from their technology investment.

  • Develop a post implementation project plan to outline the required processes: long-term training, communication, testing, metrics, help desk, etc. Prioritize education: consider quarterly training sessions
  • Consider the need to establish departmental super users. Clinicians who have access to a super user in their department post go-live have the propensity to be more satisfied because they can rely on a knowledgeable bilingual peer to help translate and answer questions.
  • Even without investing at the highest levels, organizations can benefit from more satisfied and efficient users by providing long-term EHR training.
  • Support matters! Consider that an IT department employing a minimum of four providers per 1000 EHR users is statistically associated with organizations who have the most satisfied users.

Let us know what you think of these 4 predictors of Physician Satisfaction with EHR:

  • Training and Education
  • Communication and Governance
  • Data Insights
  • Long-term Focus

How do they align with your experiences?  What have you found effective in your organizations?  We’d love to hear any thoughts, questions, or ideas you have in the comments or on social media.

About the Authors:

Mitchell Josephson is a senior analyst at KLAS Research as well as the VP of the Arch Collaborative, a KLAS initiative established to help healthcare organizations gain insight into and collaborate with one another on improving the current state of EHRs.

Heather Haugen PhD is the Chief Science Officer for Digital Health Solutions for Atos. Haugen holds a faculty position at the University of Colorado Denver- Anschutz Medical Center as the Director of Health Information Technology, where she mentors doctoral students and teaches courses. She is also the author of Beyond Implementation: A Prescription for the Adoption of Healthcare Technology.

About Atos Digital Health Solutions

Atos Digital Health Solutions helps healthcare organizations clarify business objectives while pursuing safer, more effective healthcare that manages costs and engagement across the care continuum. Our leadership team, consultants, and certified project and program managers bring years of practical and operational hospital experience to each engagement. Together, we’ll work closely with you to deliver meaningful outcomes that support your organization’s goals. Our team works shoulder-to-shoulder with your staff, sharing what we know openly. The knowledge transfer throughout the process improves skills and expertise among your team as well as ours. We support a full spectrum of products and services across the healthcare enterprise including Population Health, Value-Based Care, Security and Enterprise Business Strategy Advisory Services, Revenue Cycle Expertise, Adoption and Simulation Programs, ERP and Workforce Management, Go-Live Solutions, EHR Application Expertise, as well as Legacy and Technical Expertise. Atos is a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene.

About KLAS

KLAS has provided accurate, honest, and impartial insight into the healthcare IT (HIT) industry since 1996. The KLAS mission is to improve the world’s healthcare by amplifying providers’ and payers’ voices. The scope of our research is constantly expanding to best fit market needs as technology becomes increasingly sophisticated. KLAS finds the hard-to-get HIT data by building strong relationships with our payer and provider friends in the industry.