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Four New Best Practices for Your EHR Personalization Labs

EHRs are a significant investment for every healthcare provider organization. As such, it makes financial sense to invest in their usability and personalization.

From initial implementation to major upgrades, cutting corners with your EHR is never a best-practice approach.

One corner commonly cut is EHR personalization. For initial implementations and major upgrades, personalization is the last step in clinician training and activation. And it is the most important for your clinicians. Why is EHR personalization essential to physician satisfaction and your organization’s overall EHR success?

EHR Personalization Drives Adoption and Buy-In

Twenty-three percent of physicians report going through a major technological transition in the past 24 months, including EHR implementations and upgrades. They are frustrated, burned out, and often feel they did not receive sufficient training. Effective EHR personalization is a critical step in your EHR training process. It’s a corner that you cannot afford to cut.

  • Content created during EHR personalization labs helps clinicians use the EHR more efficiently. This includes note templates, preference lists, and order sets customized by specialty.
  • Specialty-based EHR content makes the EHR more relatable and user friendly.
  • Personalization improves overall adoption of the EHR—an essential ingredient in achieving better ROI for your EHR investment.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, DeliverHealth established four new best practices for EHR personalization labs. These changes proved extremely successful and effective during recent implementations and major upgrades. According to one DeliverHealth customer, “I received great tips to get more organized and proficient at mainstreaming my workflow. I think these personalization sessions should be mandatory, the information I received was invaluable 

1. Conduct virtual, one-on-one personalization labs

Conducting virtual one-on-one personalization labs for busy providers was a COVID-19 pivot that DeliverHealth’s EHR services team will keep. The virtual labs made learning new EHR systems and modules easy in several ways.

  • Clinicians attended personalization labs on their own time and whenever it fit their schedules, including from home offices.
  • Providers interacted with specialty-based trainers via screen sharing, live chat, and online video.
  • Since labs were conducted in private, clinicians asked more questions, remained fully engaged, and received highly customized training.

The same EHR personalization lab toolkits used during onsite, group training sessions were delivered during these one-on-one virtual sessions with impressive results. One DeliverHealth customer said, “Having standardized toolkits with templates relevant to my specialty and a trainer that was so knowledgeable reduced my anxiety around the first day of Go-live, one to one is the way to go!”

2. Provide personalization by specialty

As you take personalization labs a step further, it is important to organize training by specialty. In the past, training during implementations and upgrades was done in a large group with a one-size-fits-all approach. As the EHR evolved, it became apparent that specialty-based EHR training was more effective and appropriate.

For example, the needs of orthopedic clinicians are different from those of neurologists and pediatricians. Because EHR content, documents, templates, and order sets vary by specialty, training should be distinct to each. Dividing by specialty also allows assignment of EHR trainers based on their relevant experience.

Specialty-based trainers gain instant credibility with physicians. As a result, training sessions promote insightful conversations between peers versus tedious IT demonstrations. Finally, a higher level of customization makes providers feel more connected to the new system and increases long-term adoption.

3. Ensure proper timing with EHR personalization labs

Personalization should occur before and during go-lives of new systems, upgrades, or modules. Each session provides unique and pivotal information that enhances the end results.

Before go-live: Conducting personalization labs before the go-live period helps clinicians become familiar with the system setup and provides valuable input on needs and requirements.

During go-live: The go-live period is the best time for clinicians to determine what they really need. What clinicians think they need before go-live does not always play out in practice as they see how the system works with real-world cases.

Though EHR personalization labs can be performed after activation, this timing is detrimental to physician satisfaction and EHR usability. Clinicians will inevitably need some retrofitting to accommodate post go-live changes. And because the system does not immediately meet their needs, frustration levels peak and adoption is jeopardized.

4. Revisit EHR Personalization Three Months Later

Once the activation switch is flipped, avoid turning a blind eye to clinician workflow, usability, and adoption. Develop a roadmap for future EHR personalization training sessions, ideally three months after new system activation.

Three months is the appropriate amount of time to evaluate what is working within the EHR and what needs to be tweaked for your clinicians. After three months you’ll have adequate data and the ability to observe EHR workflows. For example, review how many clicks it takes to achieve a particular set of tasks, and then assess more efficient ways to structure the documentation templates. This type of analysis continually optimizes your EHR and maximizes its effectiveness and adoption.

The overall goal of EHRs is to make life for clinicians, and everyone who touches the information inside the record, easier and more efficient. Time spent on EHR personalization pays off in the long run. Organizations achieve better returns on their EHR investments and clinicians report higher levels of satisfaction and usability. EHR personalization is a journey worth taking.

If you’d like to learn more best practices for navigating the changing EHR landscape, visit deliverhealth.com/strategies

AUTHOR

Jodie Hilliker

Senior Director of EHR Services

Explore our vision for smarter healthcare.