Optimizing systems and workflows should be a scheduled phase of all software implementations. Unfortunately, this phase is often overlooked during the planning phase. It is very common that an organization’s resources are stretched and pulled in many different directions after the initial implementation just in maintaining the system and “getting through” their daily workflows. We find that most organizations do not go back at a later date to determine what was missed or what information was not transitioned completely to their staff.
Why Is Optimization Important?
Transitioning to a new system can be overwhelming, many times things are missed during implementation or lost in translation. Frequently, staff are overwhelmed with trying to learn the new system and they never get to fully understand all of the “advanced” features that a system might have available to them. Instead, they create work around that may actually be costing them time.
- Providers and Staff may have developed work arounds that actually take more time
- Your clinical content may be out of date or there may be new features available
- The EHR system may have been updated since your initial implementation
- Clinical Workflows may have changed and the system hasn’t been updated to accommodate those changes
- Not optimizing could be costing your organization money by having inefficient workflows, outdated clinical content and lack of integration of new technologies.
An Optimization project does not only include your EHR system. It also includes your clinical workflows and your overall governance structure. We feel that it is important to look at the entire process as whole and not just your system. Therefore, we have broken our Optimization project into 3 Tracks:
- Governance Track – Policies and Procedures
- Clinical Track – Clinical Workflows and Training
- Information Technology Track – System Setup, Clinical Content and Report Development
What Happens During an Optimization Project?
An Optimization project allows everyone to put their “pain points” with the current system on the table. It’s a time for users to be heard about what is costing them time in their daily workflow. We break our Optimization projects into several phases:
- Phase 1 – Evaluate Your Current State
- Phase 2 – Develop a “Wish List” of items or changes that would improve the system or workflows
- Phase 3 – Implement the Changes
- Phase 4 – Measure the Impact of the Change
How Do We Measure Success After An Optimization Project?
- Survey Tools – We have a developed a set of survey tools that determine both subjectively and objectively user’s experience with the EHR system.
- Click Counts – We all know that providers and staff count clicks. We feel this is an important metric to consider during optimization. How many clicks did we save?
- Governance Structure – Do you have better processes after optimization for change request, changing or adding users, new government or payer regulations, system updates, etc.
- System Setup – Is the setup of your system more organized, running more efficiently, and does your internal team understand it better?
Our expert clinical consultants have a deep understanding of provider and staff needs and how to get the most from EHR systems. We strive to make users more efficient and overall happier with their daily workflow. We have developed a detailed Optimization plan that we have used time and time again to allow practices to develop a better understanding of their EHR systems and overall more satisfied users.