My EHR Sucks! How many times have you or your staff made this statement? Turns out you are not alone. According to a Medical Economics study conducted in October 2019, most physicians are dissatisfied with their current electronic health record (EHR). Some of the most common complaints are:
- It’s hurting my productivity and causing burnout
- The EHR is interfering with my patient relationship
- The system doesn’t work the way I do, it’s hard to use
But maybe these aren’t exclusively electronic health record software issues. Maybe it’s also a training issue. According to a recent KLAS Arch Collaborative study, EHR satisfaction increases when the people using them are well trained. Respondents to the survey that indicated they received good training from their EHR vendor reported that they were more satisfied with their EHR (83%) than unsatisfied (17%). Conversely, respondents that reported a bad training experience were more unsatisfied with their EHR (64%) than satisfied (36%).
Practices evaluating EHRs either as your first solution or next solution, should consider the onboarding and training processes a key consideration in making your purchase decision. Look for an EHR that provides comprehensive training including programs specific to your specialty and workflow. Does the EHR vendor offer affordable customized optimization, workflow analysis and training services to ensure you take full advantage of your technology? If the answer is no, move on.
But it is just as important to make sure you and your team are committed to doing the training. It will take time and effort and you may get some push back, particularly from providers. However, the results are worth it. You will have higher satisfaction rates with your EHR and a highly functioning practice.
It’s Never Too Late to Learn Your EHR
There is no way that you will be able to learn everything your EHR can do during the implementation process. Learning should be a long-term commitment. In fact, the KLAS study found that ongoing training was key to maintaining high knowledge and satisfaction levels.
A good EHR vendor will provide a variety of training and educational resources. Whether it is knowledge articles, regular webinar training, self-paced learning programs, or custom onsite training options. Make sure your practice is taking advantage of all these resources. Appoint a team member(s) to manage your ongoing training efforts. Set up regular staff meetings that review new software features and functions or focus on practice pain points. Not only will you learn how to do more and be more efficient, but you will help improve overall satisfaction.
If you are currently using an EHR and satisfaction is low, training might be the answer. Instead of stripping out your system, take the time to invest in some training. This can be far less disruptive and less costly then implementing an entire new system.
Embrace EHR Change. But Train for It!
An electronic health records software suite is a powerful tool for your practice improving efficiency and productivity and enhancing the patient experience. But just like any tool, you need to learn how to use it to realize its full potential. Invest in ongoing learning and satisfaction will follow.
Bart Segal is the founder and CEO of Tri-Med Solutions, Inc, an EHR Value Added Reseller based in Atlanta, GA. He has 25+ years of experience in the Practice Management and Electronic Healthcare Records industry and is always happy to answer any questions. You can reach him at email@example.com.