Healthcare trends are helping facilities reap the benefits of data-driven care, but the industry should work to keep health professionals engaged.
While healthcare trends are helping facilities reap the benefits of data-driven care, nurses, doctors and health professionals often find themselves navigating frustrating technology. These professionals are experiencing a new time in the industry as they learn the ins and outs of the latest technology.
For example, doctors who are already using new electronic health records systems (EHRs) and practice management systems (PMS), now find themselves performing even more data entry — a task that takes time away from engaging with patients. Even as doctors feel more competent in their use of EHRs, they’re also increasingly frustrated. According to a Accenture survey, 71 percent of doctors felt that healthcare IT has caused less time spent with patients. And Healthcare IT News reports that 85 percent of nurses struggle with EHR systems.
Clinician engagement and satisfaction around electronic systems shouldn’t be ignored, especially in an industry facing staffing shortages. However, improving the situation is possible. Here are three ways the healthcare industry can use cutting-edge technology while keeping professionals engaged.
1. Communicate the “Why”
Sometimes, improving the clinician experience can be as straightforward as addressing a simple question. Health systems have found success in communicating to their physicians from the start, that they’re becoming part of a performance-driven culture. They understand the role common technology platforms play in achieving care and performance quality goals, and that a unified clinical workflow ultimately helps reduce variations in care. For physicians accustomed to independent practice, this can be a challenge, but as healthcare entities move to leverage data to reap benefits, communicating the reason for these changes can make everyone’s life easier.
2. Use Better Technology
It sounds counterintuitive, but the answer to getting clinicians past the challenges of new technology could be more improved technology. The earliest EHRs were designed around data. As technology develops, we’re seeing more technology emerge that centers around people, or human-centered automation. According to BusinessSolutions, centering both the doctor and patient in the design of computer information systems while moving away from process-centered applications is key to acceptance.
Data-entry systems, for example, are being reexamined in today’s research. The goal of research like the findings presented in Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics is to aid in the development of data entry systems that are more intuitive and human-focused than existing systems (like ICD-10, which is based around billing functions).
Nowhere though, is the importance of technology quality more pressing than the EHR space. Not all are created equal, but a well-designed and properly-implemented EHR allows physicians to access charts more quickly, order fewer tests, and in some cases of integration with practice management systems, even reduce the time patients spend scheduling appointments and waiting on hold.
3. Optimize Your Systems
No platform is static, and any piece of technology from revenue cycle solutions to electronic platforms can, and should, be regularly evaluated. After implementation, it’s easy to miss knowing that software can be refined to fit the needs of a practice or system, according to EHR Intelligence. However, regular assessment of functionality and results is crucial so healthcare organizations can see the ROI expected on their technology investments. Many organizations even form governance teams headed by chief medical officers to discuss opportunities for system improvement, optimization, use and adoption.
Ultimately, the goal should be to build a platform that works with your physicians and complements their efforts as care providers. A simple focus on communication and human-centered development and implementation can go a long way in achieving that.