Clinician burnout is a complex matter with a long history involving multiple elements.
A recent report from the Mayo clinic identified low EHR (electronic health record) usability as an ongoing key contributor to this national healthcare crisis.
When the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the demand for healthcare services, much of the work done to slow the rate of clinician burnout evaporated. Fewer places was this shift felt more strongly than in rural and underserved communities where even prior to the pandemic, attracting and retaining skilled clinicians was already a constant struggle.
There are easily identifiable factors that contribute to poor EHR usability. Some EHR usability issues are symptomatic of an ever-evolving landscape of healthcare regulations. Other factors are more systemic and can be attributed to the complex design and implementation of the EHR solution itself.
MEDHOST is focused on continuously simplifying EHR workflows and implementations for optimal usability based on customer feedback.
Establishing a channel for continuous feedback from clinician users is vital. Healthcare providers and end-users must be given multiple channels for soliciting feedback.
A few of the noteworthy channels of engagement MEDHOST employs include:
Clinician feedback is frequently based on experiences with prior products and is sometimes conflicting with feedback from other clinicians. Thoughtful responses are essential in these cases to foster both continued communication and product improvement.
New features or product ideas should be designed with usability in mind focusing on minimal clicks; minimum required fields; simple page layouts; and integrated, simplified workflows. Features must also be vetted with key internal and external stakeholders at multiple stages throughout the development cycle via periodic product demos and retrospectives.
Additionally, extensive usability testing internally should be planned. At MEDHOST, these cross-departmental testing stages involve members of the EHR support and customer service teams, as their views and feedback over implementation and development has a customer perspective with value for all parties.
Product Development using Agile methodology assists in the successful design of a simplified EHR. Agile enables our engineering teams to quickly adapt to changes surfaced via the various feedback channels and supports a mission of improved EHR usability.
Lastly, alongside simplifying workflows and providing new solutions, an enhanced focus on EHR implementation is foundational for delivering a usable EHR system. A configurable solution coupled with a highly engaged implementation team helps streamline the “go-live” period for all our facilities.
Specific details of the various implementation measures enacted by MEDHOST are outlined in a past blog.
As a service to all our customers, MEDHOST continues to provide simplified solutions, balancing usability and healthcare regulations. While clinicians all over work hard to support their communities, MEDHOST remains focused on supporting the wellness of these essential workers by providing usable solutions that allow them to best serve their patients.