Optimization efforts save physicians' time across Georgia-based health system
In 2015, the 2,000 providers employed across more than 150 Emory Healthcare locations in Georgia grew more frustrated with using the electronic health record (EHR) due to a lack of proper training and information technology resources. Emory Healthcare launched a broad optimization effort focused on both improving the training program and implementing new specialty-based technology.
Under the direction of Chief Medical Information Officer Julie Hollberg, MD, Emory’s clinical informatics team paired with Cerner adoption coaches with the goal of improving the provider education experience, increasing satisfaction and decreasing time spent in the EHR.
In addition to implementing specialty-specific workflow MPages®, the team coached health care providers how to use the EHR more efficiently by observing provider workflow and analyzing user experience data with Cerner Advance.
Emory’s goal of providing a continuous and sustainable learning experience for providers ultimately led to a complete overhaul of the previous training program and the implementation of a new education program in 2016 that combined web-based training with one-on-one coaching.
In 2016, providers who completed coaching experienced a median time savings of 3 minutes and 17 seconds per patient. The providers in this cohort each saw an average of 94 patients per month, so the total time savings equaled approximately five hours total per coached provider per month.
Additionally, during this time, 288 coaching interactions resulted in a reduction of wasted time in the EHR by a total of 88,886 minutes, or 1,481 hours.
“By using our coaching program and our online web-based teaching modules, physicians are spending more time with their patients and less time in the EHR,” said Hollberg. “This allowed us to reduce physician burnout and provided happier doctors and happier patients.”
Cerner adoption coaches played a critical role in training Emory’s clinical informatics’ employees by participating in regular knowledge share activities and assisting with proactive optimization coaching.
In addition to Cerner’s adoption coaches, Emory hired full-time employees with experience in clinical documentation optimization to provide continuous coaching and assist with the education program. Together, Cerner adoption coaches and Emory’s coaching staff trained providers on PowerChart®, SurgiNet® Anesthesia, PowerChart Maternity™, FirstNet® and Dragon Dictation.
“We also closely monitor Cerner Advance data on all of our providers,” said Hollberg. “If we notice any of them are starting to struggle and we see increased documentation time, we proactively reach out to them and their department administrator to see if our coaches can intervene before frustration escalates.”
Cerner Advance data enables coaches to have a more meaningful and informed conversation with the provider. For example, if the coach sees that the physician doesn’t have autotext enabled in their documentation, the coach will investigate if the provider is aware of that shortcut and help them better utilize the time saving functionality.
The adoption coaches’ one-on-one training allowed providers to have real-time support and to learn in a more collaborative environment.
“Doctors want help in the exact moment they need it, not five minutes before and not five after,” said Hollberg. “For times when the coach isn’t standing next to the provider, we implemented e-coach so they can also find answers without leaving the EHR. This multi-method approach is the best way to educate adult learners.”
Hollberg said that adoption coaches have been made an essential, on-going part of Emory’s technology efforts. “We’ve really focused more on sustainability via our adoption coaches just as much as we do the new technology.”