The latest report from the KLAS Arch Collaborative highlights electronic health record efficiency as one of the most important factors in clinicians’ EHR experience. To assess how the industry is doing on that front, KLAS interviewed 67 organizations to validate vendor offerings and firms that are successful in increasing that efficiency.
While most organizations indicated that there is more to be done to improve system performance in clinical practice, the new Clinician EHR Efficiency Software and Services 2023 report validated attributes of EHR products and services that enhanced clinical experiences.
WHY IT MATTERS
This year, KLAS researchers asked healthcare organizations in-depth questions about EHR service- and product-offerings. They wanted to learn whether the offerings transform clinical programs and efficiencies or build, modify or customize an EHR or third-party application and reconfigure workflows.
They also asked about the quality of tools like virtual scribing and care-team messaging, services that enhance interoperability and the ability to personalize alerts and engineer documentation improvements.
KLAS said it invited vendors and firms to provide a list of deep adopters using their clinician-efficiency offerings to find out what they would tell their friends about their EHR experiences. The resulting report offers HCOs’ insights into how vendors support clients in making EHR selections and assessing add-ons. It features comments on specific vendors from clinical documentation improvement managers, specialists, C-suite technology leaders and others on their experiences and advice.
“I had a principal person from Chartis Group tied in at all times,” one chief operating officer explained.
“That person attended all our calls, and even though they didn’t have to talk the whole time, they were always there. If any of the consultants said anything that was misleading or misunderstood, that principal person would step in routinely to clarify everything.
“That was very good because that individual was watching out and actively engaged,” they said.
The nearly 60-page report offers insights into the following EHRs and EHR efficiency products:
- AQuity Solutions
- Cordea Consulting
- Holon Solutions
- NextGen Healthcare
- ECG Management Consultants
- Evergreen Healthcare Partners
- Experis Health Solutions
- Forward Health Group
- ReMedi Health Solutions
A chief information officer for another organization commenting Epic Refuel said they advise their peers to avoid customization. Instead, their organization turned on hundreds of features.
“The projects not only created efficiency for our providers but also allowed us to enhance accessibility for our patients,” the CIO said in the KLAS report.
Meanwhile, Meditech is working to improve visibility into scanned documents to make them more relevant to provider workflows, one chief medical information officer noted.
“That has been an area of frustration for providers on both the ambulatory and acute side, but Meditech is actively in development on that now, so hopefully that is something we will see within the next three to six months,” they said.
KLAS also spoke with end users. One physician expressed that they loved Wellsheet.
“The data is organized in a way that complements how physicians and other healthcare professionals think, and the system presents data so that key elements are readily noticed,” the clinician said.
“There is less clicking and more thinking.”
THE LARGER TREND
Vendors are focused on supporting their provider challenges around EHR optimization this year, according to Sri Velamoor, chief growth and strategy officer at NextGen Healthcare.
Earlier this year he told Healthcare IT News that there will always be organizations that need support and a need for optimization beyond what they can get out of the box in order to create an EHR experience that drives their mission and modalities of care.
In what appears to be an evolving and fast-consolidating vendor market landscape, as Cures Act requirements become effective, there are now under 200 EHR vendors, down from 1,000 just a few years ago, Velamoor noted.
“In order for systems to enable improved healthcare experiences for both caregivers and patients, the limitations of EHRs have to be addressed,” said Mutaz Shegewi, research director, provider IT transformation strategies, at IDC Health Insights.
“EHRs need to transition away from decoupling back-office functions and clinical needs, aiming instead for an integrated approach within a single system and moving from systems of record to systems of engagement,” he said.
ON THE RECORD
“It is one of the metrics with which clinical staff are least satisfied – only 46% of respondents agree their EHR enables efficiency,” the KLAS researchers said in the new clinical EHR efficiency report.
This article was revised on October 23, 2023, to add updated comments from Mutaz Shegewi.
Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.