May 16, 2017 Owen Carey

For Better EHR Deployments, Execs are Finally Listening to Their Staff

Healthcare organizations are getting smarter about the ways they deploy their technology, and doing better at putting it to work for clinicians, a new report shows.

Forty-three percent of respondents to a survey from the Experience Innovation Network say they involve front-line staff and physicians in the selection and configuration of new IT systems.

That may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s become a common complaint that clinicians are frustrated by poorly configured EHRs that don’t fit with their workflow and were implemented with little input from them.

The report from the Experience Innovation Network, part of Vocera Communications, polled more than 200 healthcare experience experts. It found encouraging news with regard to the ways technology is being deployed for the benefit of clinical end-users.

Specifically, the study, “Experience Beyond Boundaries: The Next Generation CXO,” focused on hospital chief experience officers and similar roles, examining the ways they’re working to improve the day-to-day processes of their physicians and care teams.

Seventy percent of respondents say they ask for IT improvement ideas from doctors and other front-line staffers. Forty-eight percent say front-liners are “involved in the codesign and dissemination of key experience parameters,” and 43 percent say those employees actually help select and configure new technology implementations. Forty percent say they have a formal process in place to vet, select and implement ideas from front-line staff.

Only 9 percent of survey-takers, on the other hand, said they do not engage front-line staff with experience improvement in any way.

Nonetheless, with IT having become so intrinsic to care delivery, most CXOs polled agree that physicians and other frontline staff should play an expanded role in driving technology selection.

Toward the goal of improved clinician experience, more and more hospitals are deploying new technologies and strategies to improve workflow and efficiency, the study shows. These include tools for direct communication among physicians and nurses such as texting and Skype; scribes or other EHR interfaces to help minimize data entry during patient visits; and telehealth platforms that include video, structured email and remote monitoring capabilities.

Still, there’s a way to go before the clinical experience is as optimal as it might be. While more attention is been paid to front-line frustrations and awareness of physician and nurse burnout is on the rise, only 18 percent of respondents said their organizations are explicitly tracking metrics that tie to physician, nurse and staff well-being, such as the Maslach Burnout Inventory, according to the report.

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