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Dignity Health boosts clinic productivity with PowerChart Ambulatory, streamlined provider training

by Dignity Health

Published on 4/16/2018

Dignity Health challenged the status quo of provider training for PowerChart Ambulatory™ implementation to help make their doctors’ lives a little easier. In response to concerns voiced by ambulatory providers after a recent implementation project, Dignity Health’s physician leadership made the decision to re-evaluate provider training and the strategy for PowerChart Ambulatory implementation.

Cerner’s on-site executive team, alongside Dignity Health physician leadership, leveraged people, processes, and platform changes to create a novel approach to provider PowerChart Ambulatory training. By doing so, Dignity Health improved user satisfaction, efficiency, and productivity, all while reducing the amount of required provider training by 75 percent.

With the fresh perspective of a new project team, Dignity Health adjusted its provider training model and instituted a multi-waved implementation approach, going from more than 40 hours of required provider training in June 2016 to 10 hours in October 2016. Training focused on in-office support, a mock implementation and a combined Cerner system training session. To assess the efficacy of this new model, Dignity Health tracked provider productivity after implementation and found that the return to baseline productivity was markedly reduced when compared to the traditional training method, with most providers returning to their baseline visits within a matter of approximately 2-4 weeks.

“Revising how we train providers to use PowerChart Ambulatory has increased user satisfaction and productivity,” said Erine Erickson, MD, chief medical information officer, Central Coast market. “Providers learn best when they’re trained closer to implementation and we’ve moved from a passive didactic approach to a clinically focused, problem-based curriculum. We’ve also implemented a mock go-live with scripted patient encounters that enable physicians and trainers to identify gaps in knowledge and readiness.”

Dignity Health also implemented 52 specialty workflows, which allowed for customized views of Cerner based upon provider specialties and venues of care. In addition, they began implementing provider optimization sessions aimed at taking advantage of the specialty view driven workflow. Dignity Heath subsequently saw a significant reduction in post-implementation inefficiencies, to include a 10 percent reduction in total EHR time spent per patient within family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and primary care physician specialties.

“In ambulatory practices, productivity is usually a combination of things,” said Davin Lundquist, MD, vice president and ambulatory chief medical information officer. “It’s how many patients per day you can see. It also includes the complexity of the visit, so the more complex the visit is, the higher the level of care, which translates into higher productivity.”

Dignity Health’s ambulatory clinics are now moving forward on the next phase of PowerChart Ambulatory optimization, to include customized data-driven workflow sessions with providers, as well as deployment of report cards that will facilitate assessment of providers’ efficiency in documentation, chart review, ordering, and message center and portal use metrics. They plan to continue using analytics to further guide and refine all of these processes as part of their commitment toward enhancing the provider experience using PowerChart Ambulatory.

Data pulled from Cerner’s Lights On Network®

Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.