How to Maximize the Value of Your EHR Post Go-Live
Jul 19, 2022
Since their introduction to the healthcare industry in the 1960s, electronic health records (EHRs) have exponentially grown in accessibility and popularity. Initially available only to government-funded medical practices, EHR systems are now widespread as more practices are implementing technology in healthcare. Today, nearly all non-federal acute care hospitals and two-thirds of office-based physicians have adopted basic EHR systems. The industry leader in EHR technology is Epic, which accounts for 31% of the market share in hospitals and 42% of hospital beds.
The pandemic created a unique situation for healthcare workers and how they curated the patient experience. Because of the pandemic, a barrier erupted that prevented patients from seeking in-person care though they still had medical needs. EHRs were utilized to break down that barrier. EHRs have accelerated the development of the telehealth field, led to the inclusion of telehealth services by many insurance payers, improved patient care, and created more efficient workflows for doctors.
However, despite the widespread adoption of EHRs and the benefits they have provided for healthcare workers and patients alike, many healthcare organizations haven’t been able to derive maximum value from them.
Where Digital Transformation in Healthcare Falls Short: Change Management
One digital transformation solution that still falls short is Epic’s MyChart app, a patient portal for healthcare information. These shortcomings are not due to the technology itself; rather, improper change management in healthcare has led to slow, rocky, and in some cases marginal adoption rates. The technology requires a mobile device or computer with an internet connection, which can be difficult or inaccessible for low-income or elderly patients. Many were also wary of the new technology, stating that it felt less personal or citing data privacy concerns.
As a result, it has fallen to healthcare providers to alleviate these concerns and teach patients how to use the technology, all while learning how to best use MyChart themselves. All this was done while providers carried a multitude of other duties and responsibilities.
These barriers caused the value of EHRs to fall below aspirations. EHRs allow for multiple records from multiple providers to exist in a single place, enable medical device integration from home monitors, and provide predictive analytics that can alert providers. However, these benefits rely on patient engagement. Putting so much on providers without strategic guidance has led to a lack of education for patients in regard to how to access their patient portals through this app. In the absence of proper guidance and encouragement from medical providers, the digital transformation in healthcare falls short of its potential—hence, a less-than-optimal patient experience.
This is where CTG comes in. For healthcare organizations preparing for the new normal, CTG can be a partner and tool of support for closing the gap between intended value and actualized results. CTG helps by:
1. Providing Change Management Models in Healthcare
In-house technology implementation and provider education often falls short. The vision is too shortsighted—practices are focused on implementing technology in healthcare quickly and efficiently. This can result in learning gaps for both patients and providers.
Rather than a one-and-done, change management should be a continuous, long-term model. While change management in healthcare is often discussed, practical resources are in short supply. CTG walks through the process with the business, even after the initial technology implementation. This includes providing training, readiness, activation, and managed services for system support, testing and automation, assessment and roadmap building, and quality improvement. A trusted partner, such as CTG, ensures practices are not forced to devote valuable time developing all these resources or drop them and risk a less-effective implementation.
2. Educating Providers to Become EHR Ambassadors
People learn better from their peers, especially those in the same occupation. Healthcare organizations should ensure that each clinician understands the EHR system well enough to act as an ambassador for it, and CTG helps make that happen.
CTG’s training and activation programs are developed and executed to ensure that end users know their new EHRs inside and out and can articulate their importance and benefits to patients. When your healthcare teams become ambassadors of the technology, they’re more committed to supporting its adoption on the patient side. From the receptionist at check-out to the nurse taking vitals or the doctor performing an exam, each member of the healthcare organization should be working toward the common goal of patient experience optimization.
EHRs have made a lasting impact on the healthcare industry. They’ve allowed for better quality of patient care, more accurate patient information, and increased provider efficiency. The pandemic drove the adoption of EHRs as digital transformation solutions and the absolute necessity for innovation with EHR systems. Rather than only reaping some of the technology’s benefits, healthcare organizations should maximize value by utilizing all that EHRs can do for them. This includes an increase in revenue, scalability as medical practices grow, and easier accessibility for patients.
CTG guides its partners on how to educate providers and patients and improve change management as organizations adapt to the new healthcare landscape. Find out how CTG can do this for your healthcare organization.