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After the passage of the HITECH Act, Meaningful Use caused a boom in the EHR & EMR market. Many groups rushed their implementation to accommodate regulatory program criteria. By 2017, approximately 80% of office-based physicians reported adopting a Certified EHR. Now that many groups are well in to MIPS participation, focusing on provider satisfaction, reducing physician burnout, and EHR optimization are vital to leading a successful physician organization. 

How Does EHR Optimization Work?

The original focus on electronic health records (EHR) was being an electronic collection of the patient's information, including patient history. Many vendors concentrated on replicating the paper process and clinical content into their systems while ignoring usability. Now that most physicians have adopted EHRs, the concentration must be on EHR optimization.

The EHR optimization process works by looking at areas of concern for physicians and nurses and trying to improve the EHR. Clients work with TempDev to:

  1. Document pain points through help desk ticket review, interviews, and observations in the physician practice

  2. Create a list of problem areas that include: too many clicks, inaccurate information charted, challenging to find, or a paper process being utilized instead

  3. Prioritize the list in order of most significant impact

  4. Estimate the hours and difficulty of implementing a solution

  5. Determine and communicate a plan for EHR optimization

  6. Develop, train, & implement the new solutions

Challenges Hindering EHR Optimization

The first challenge with EHR optimization is that many healthcare practitioners are not satisfied with the existing system and can be resistant to changes. They may, and rightfully so, express anger and frustration when using the system since it is taking time away from patient care. Many times there was a rush to adoption without fully engaged stakeholders since organizations were trying to meet regulatory burdens. Healthcare workers may have also not been properly trained on how the EHR works. Not understanding the existing state of the EHR, its capability, and excluding key stakeholders are all hindrances to enhancing the performance of EHRs.

When an EHR is unable to streamline an organization's workflows, it makes it difficult to improve the end-user experience. Many healthcare workers end up perceiving that the system negatively affects how they work. Many healthcare facilities also go wrong when they work on adopting new features and functionality without first addressing the system's initial challenges. This automatically transfers the old problems into the "optimized" system. Additionally, it is crucial to examine current and future issues that might negatively affect the system. Partnering with the wrong EHR consulting organization may also be an enormous challenge to fully optimizing the system.

Ways of Optimizing Your EHR System

Some of the things you can do to optimize your EHR system include:

  • Train defined workflows: Engage with your team to define workflows and how to manage any inefficiencies in the system effectively. Physicians & nurses need to know how to use EHRs to complement their work, not make it burdensome.

  • Tailor the EHR system: EHRs are often very flexible and have tools to adapt them to meet any goal or objective. You should ensure that the templates are aligned to meet clinical duties.

  • Use the right technology: Optimization requires excellent technology, and investing in the right solutions is critical, even if they seem a bit pricy. This will end up saving you money in the long run and prove a good return on investment

  • Work with the right partner: Implementing the right solutions the incorrect way is fruitless. Find a partner who is experienced in EHR optimization initially and save yourself the headache of reimplementation. 

  • Address current and foreseeable challenges: Improving the EHR system requires you to address various challenges, have foresight into ones that won't work, and formulate long-lasting solutions.

All the efforts in EHR optimization are only successful if you work together with physicians and nurses. 

Benefits of EHR Optimization 

The main benefit of optimizing your EHR system is that you can deliver better care to your patients. Reduce administrative burdens on physicians by providing them with an EHR that works for them. Once the system is optimized, your physicians can take advantage of all the exciting things EHRs can provide: clinical trends, mobility, interoperability, and integrated teams. This optimization gives you more information about the patient, making it easy to provide patient-centered care. Since EHRs are hosted, physicians can serve their patients from their phones without needing to come to the office. EHR optimization also improves the efficiency and productivity of physician practices. Becoming more efficient puts them on the right track of providing value-based care.

Become Part of the Change by Partnering with TempDev Today

Healthcare information technology has revolutionized various sectors of patient care, and physicians can be one of the biggest beneficiaries. EHR optimization allows you to tap into your unlocked EHR potential. This helps you provide better care and finally gives you the ability to obtain a return on your investment. Technology can become irrelevant pretty quick, making it extremely important to stay up to date and enhance your current systems. Partner with TempDev today by contacting us at 888.TEMP.DEV and give your physicians the EHR they need.


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