EHR Optimization Strategies for Enhancing EHR Usability
May 7, 2021EHR Optimization Strategies for Enhancing EHR Usability

When health practitioners adopt new EHR systems, they often experience implementation challenges. These challenges disrupt your staff's daily routines, who may end up developing a negative attitude towards the system in the long run if you do not resolve their concerns. Starting an EHR optimization campaign after launching your EHR system can help you change the team's attitude towards the system. This will help you enjoy the full benefits that EHR can bring to the practice. Here are four EHR optimization strategies for enhancing EHR usability.

1. Reduce the Information Overload

Your staff shouldn't have to sift through an enormous amount of data before they can access what they are looking for in the system. This is because they will spend a lot of time looking for information that applies to them at a particular time. Time wastage leads to operational inefficiencies.

In your EHR optimization project, you'll want to redesign your system so that the staff can bypass the clutter and clicks as fast as possible. They should be able to access the relevant data from the system in the fewest clicks possible. This can be as simple as reducing panels and cards on your templates that are not needed on a regular office visit. This technique reduces the amount of data that the system displays to the staff. It enables them to work faster and more accurately since the need to analyze large amounts of data does not overwhelm them. Review your NextGen EHR manual for more information about how to perform this task.

2. Perform Tests to Improve EHR Optimization

EHR usability improves when you regularly update your system and maintain it properly. To achieve this, you'll have to conduct periodic summative testing focused on EHR optimization. EHR performance and usability tests are some of the common summative tests you should never ignore when you want to optimize the system.

You can conduct the usability test using the system usability scale (SUS). This is a 100-point scale that has 10 survey questions regarding the system's usability. Responses to these questions by your team members show their satisfaction level. The higher the score the higher the EHR usability.

The SUS test does more than just gauging the level of satisfaction of the users. It also reveals the areas where users feel you could improve to help the system perform better. Take advantage of the feedback from the users to optimize the EHR to meet their needs. The EHR performance tests will also show you the technical components of the system that you can optimize further for better performance.

3. Enhance EHR Usability by Optimizing the User Experience

The EHR's user experience is very integral for usability. This is because it's the first thing that users see when they interact with the system. The user interface directly affects how your staff uses the system. It's at the user interface where people begin their navigation journey of the system and affects the end-user experience.

An interface that is full of clutter or extremely complex is a sign of a system that needs EHR optimization. A system with such an interface is hard to navigate. Thus, your staff will experience frequent burnouts. These systems also create operational inefficiencies because staff spends unnecessarily long interacting with them because of their complexity.

Optimize your EHR by designing a simple interface. You should also make sure that the interface doesn't suffer from data integrity issues. This means that the system should execute tasks correctly depending on the staff's input from the interface.

4. Incorporate Dictation Tools that Improve EHR Usability

Dictation tools can help you manage the physician burnouts associated with using the EHR system. To put this into perspective, consider the case of the documenting visits. You'll have to click constantly and cycle through templates to accomplish the task with an EHR system. This will eventually lead to cognitive overload, especially if you are attending to many patients.

You can incorporate voice-enabled add-ons, such as Dragon, to ease the documentation burden. This technology enables your team to perform documentation tasks just by talking. This is way easier and faster, and it reduces the frequency of burnout among the staff.

Mobile dictation tools, such as NextGen Mobile, make it possible for you to link the system with your staffs' phones. This is quite convenient, especially if your team members are on the move constantly. The arrangement makes it possible for the staff to perform their task from anywhere so long as they have their phone with them.

Start the EHR Optimization Journey With TempDev

Enhancing the usability of the EHR goes hand in hand with optimizing the system. Before you optimize an EHR, you have to understand the usability issues at play. Most people think that usability issues arise because of the EHR design. So they imagine that EHR vendors alone fix the issues. The reality, however, is that the implementation or configuration of the system also affects usability. TempDev's experts can help you optimize your EHR to improve its usability among the staff. Reach out to us for a solution today.