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Wednesday, October 12, 2016 10:00 AM

Increase Your EHR Satisfaction Through Innovation

Written by Rich Murphy, Product Director - iatricSystems


Have you read the HealthcareIT News 2016 EHR Satisfaction Survey results? (or maybe you even participated in the survey?)

The results were not totally suprprising to most. The EHRs that have been on top, remained on top, and overall, the satisfaction scores went up, which is encouraging. However, there were still some significant areas where hospitals are experiencing angst with their EHR.

You can read all the vendor detail results here, but I'll summarize some key points:

Overall Satisfaction Rank of EHRs* (as reported by Healthcare IT News):

  • Epic: 7.7
  • Cerner: 7.1
  • GE Healthcare: 6.8
  • Allscripts: 6.4
  • eClinicalWorks: 6.1
  • MEDITECH: 6.0
  • Siemens: 5.4
  • McKesson: 5.1
  • NextGen: 4.4

*on a scale of 1 - 10

While these results are interesting (and not all that surprising), there are still some real challenges that hospitals face, even with the top-ranked EHRs.

Perhaps looking for the EHR to be the be-all end-all is not the right answer, and the fact that the same complaints keep coming up year after year might indicate that the solution to those challenges should come from other innovations.

Here are some examples from the survey of users' frustrations and what they say they need:

"More interoperability, interface capabilities with other systems"

"Cooperate with other EHR vendors and medical device vendors for integration"

"It would be nice if it were possible to have exchange data from 3rd party EHRs be incorporated as structured data"

"Too many clicks"

One thing that was common among all EHR vendors is that, of the attributes ranked, "interoperability with other systems" was always ranked lower than other attributes. 

And this seems to be common year after year. So, if users are waiting for vendors to make gigantic strides in this area, they may be waiting a long time.

When I talk with hospitals, my recommendation is for them not to wait for interoperability to happen. It's wise to take matters into your own hands and look for ways to innovate to solve your challenges. For example, some steps you can take could be:

  • Identify your biggest workflow pain points

  • Document where you are lacking the appropriate information for clinicians or staff to get their job done

  • Identify where it takes your staff extra time to either look up patient data in a different system, or where they have to re-key information to get it in another system (one of the complaints from the survey)

  • Identify where it takes too many clicks to get to the information that is needed (another complaint from the survey)

We have helped hospitals do these types of evaluations and you may be surprised at what they found (the number of hours wasted, the number of mistakes or bad data due to manual entry, etc).

We recently helped one hospital that was taking a lot of time to go into their HIE, look up patient data, and compare it to what data resided in their EHR. This is a prime example where an improvement in workflow is needed.

There is an easy solution. In this example, we integrated our FlexButtonTM solution with their EHR system. Now, when the clinician is in the patient record in their EHR, if new data about that particular patient exists in their HIE (meaning they received care in another location), a button will alert them (blink). The clinician simply clicks on the button, and it takes them to that patient's record in the HIE so they can see the data.

Here is a short video that shows how this works:

This is just one example. Remember the wish from one of the survey respondents: "It would be nice if it were possible to have exchange data from 3rd party EHRs be incorporated as structured data" — this technology can accomplish this goal and so much more — the possibilities for solving workflow challenges are really endless. You can set up alerts based on any criteria or business rules, to integrate with any 3rd party system.

So, maybe the answer doesn't lie within the EHR. I encourage you to look for ways to enhance your EHR's ability to connect with other solutions, to help you meet your interoperability goals.

Click here to view a couple more FlexButton use case examples, including injecting clinicians into a 3rd party system workflow, and querying a system outside of the EHR and updating the FlexButton based on actions taken. 

If you want to see a live demo of how to integrate patient data from other systems into your EHR, join me for the upcoming live demo webinar "Improve EHR Interoperability with FlexButton" on February 9, at 2:00p.m. ET.