Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems were designed with the intention of streamlining medical processes. The efficiency they promised has been a point of debate for many in the healthcare sector. A recent KLAS report, conducted by interviews with 67 healthcare organizations, provides a an insight on this ongoing issue in the healthcare industry.
The Significance and Issue of EHR Efficiency
EHR’s effectiveness remains a key concern in the clinician experience, as shown by LAS Arch Collaborative research. Despite its potential, there is a gap in its performance: only 46% of clinicians feel their EHR system enhances efficiency. As well as this, there is a clear direct correlation between the lack of EHR efficiency and clinician burnout. Consequently, many healthcare institutions are seeking external help to boost EHR efficiency and improve the user experience.
Key Offerings to Enhance EHR Efficiency
The KLAS report identifies six primary offerings designed to improve EHR efficiency:
- Clinical Transformation Strategy: This includes formulating strategies for clinician efficiency, spearheading informatics program development, and initiating delivery-model alterations.
- Technical Build Assistance: Creating EHR systems and third-party applications.
- Virtual Scribes: Services focused on optimizing clinical documentation.
- Workflow Assessment and Refinement Services: Offering staff for customization initiatives, refining existing processes, and making documentation enhancements via efficiency data insights.
- Vendor Selection: Assisting in the EHR selection process, evaluating EHR modules, and pinpointing efficiency-driven add-ons.
- Interoperability Optimization: Aiming to make externally-sourced patient data more actionable for clinicians.
The report also singles out three software enhancements to augment EHR efficiency:
- Documentation Burden Reduction: Aims at data aggregation and visualization in the EHR, supplemented by features like ambient voice and real-time speech recognition.
- Message/Task Management (Inbox): A review and restructuring of message flows to correct inefficiencies.
- Team Communication and Coordination: Enhancing team communication and automating a series of tasks.
Spotlight on EHR Vendors
EHR vendors such as athenahealth, Epic, MEDITECH, and NextGen Healthcare are noted in the report for their contributions:
- Athenahealth is distinguished for its extensive service offerings and software solutions, ranging from strategy development to care team communication.
- Epic is credited for its focus on strategy, application enhancement, and workflow design, among other areas.
- MEDITECH stands out for its service offerings that span from strategy formulation to efficiency data analysis.
- NextGen Healthcare, while spotlighted for a narrower range of services, is acknowledged for software solutions emphasizing data visualization and task coordination.
Gathering Feedback via KLAS Interviews
KLAS conducts numerous interviews with healthcare professionals annually, aiming to understand their perspectives on IT solutions. For this specific report, vendors were prompted to identify deep adopters of their clinician efficiency offerings. These adopters were then interviewed by KLAS to validate the offerings and extract insights about their respective experiences.
A Closer Look at the KLAS Arch Collaborative
The Arch Collaborative is a conglomerate of healthcare organizations with a shared vision: to improve the EHR experience. This is achieved through standardized surveys and benchmarking exercises. With participation from almost 300 healthcare organizations and feedback accumulated from over 440,000 clinicians, the Arch Collaborative’s mission is to transform patient care by maximizing the EHR’s capabilities.