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Personalized Clinical Documentation Tools Linked to EHR Satisfaction

Physicians who use personalized clinical documentation tools, such as templates and shortcuts, report the highest levels of EHR satisfaction, a KLAS report found.  

While direct entry is the most common documentation method, physicians who use personalized documentation tools report the highest levels of EHR satisfaction, according to a KLAS Arch Collaborative report.  

Physicians who use personalized tools, whether alone or in combination with other methods, reported an average EHR experience score 15.5 points higher than those who do not use personalized tools.

Different EHR personalization features improve different aspects of clinical workflows. For example, templates, macros, and shortcuts are mainly helpful for documentation, while other tools help with data retrieval.

However, the report found that EHR satisfaction does not vary widely based on which tools a physician adopts. Across all EHR personalization features, physicians who use them are more satisfied than those who don’t, signaling that no single personalization tool is more likely than the others to drive EHR satisfaction.

“Rather, it is important that physicians adopt the tools that best fit their individual needs and workflows,” the authors emphasized. “While efficiency-tracking tools from the EHR vendor can help identify a physician’s EHR pain points, observation of and communication with the end user are also vital in determining which personalizations will be most beneficial.”

The report also revealed that 80 percent of physicians who use templates report being able to complete more than half of their charting immediately after seeing a patient.

“Additionally, physicians who use templates are the most likely to say they do less than five hours a week of after-hours charting, and they are the least likely to say they are experiencing burnout,” the authors wrote.

Order lists and filter tools are also associated with higher rates of immediate chart closure. Both tools reduce the number of clicks to drive physician efficiency.

On the other hand, physicians reported layouts, shortcuts, report views, and sort orders as the least helpful tools for efficiency. Physicians who use these personalization tools report lower immediate chart-closure rates than those who do not.  

The report emphasized that healthcare organizations looking to improve EHR satisfaction through the adoption of personalized tools should examine documentation training processes.

Regardless of the documentation method used, physicians who describe their documentation training as satisfactory report average EHR experience scores at least 30 points higher than those who do not. Physicians who report effective documentation training also report higher immediate chart-closure rates and lower chances of burnout.

“Training will make or break a physician’s experience in more ways than one, and the EHR can function only as effectively as the user’s knowledge of how to use it,” the KLAS authors noted.

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