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Specialty-Specific EHR Training Drives Clinician Satisfaction

EHR vendors can help boost clinician satisfaction and experience by designing ongoing specialty-specific EHR training, KLAS researchers said.

Providers who strongly agree they received specialty-specific EHR training are almost 25 times more likely to report clinician satisfaction with EHR functionality, according to a KLAS Arch Collaborative report.

Researchers used vendor-specific specialty data for Cerner and Epic because other vendors in the Arch Collaborative do not have a large enough representation.

Analyzing how specialties score compared to other end-users of the same EHR demonstrates that clinician satisfaction can depend more on a user’s specialty than on which system the clinician uses. This information can help organizations determine which specialties need extra attention to improve the EHR experience.

In both customer groups, orthopedics and cardiology had some of the lowest scores compared to peers using the same EHR. Regardless of the vendor’s average net EHR experience score, common areas of frustration for these specialties include functionality, ability to deliver quality care, and EHR vendor delivery of a high-quality platform.

For both client groups, hospital medicine providers report a net EHR experience score over 10 points higher than the average for their respective EHRs. Providers reported satisfaction with EHR functionality, workflow training, and how easy the EHR is to learn.

While creating specialty-specific workflow training may take substantial time and effort, providers who strongly agree they received specialty-specific training are almost 25 times more likely to agree that the EHR has the needed functionality for their job.

Both organizations and EHR vendors can help all providers succeed with the EHR by ensuring to design initial and ongoing education tailored to the needs of different specialties, the KLAS authors wrote.

Endocrinology, pulmonology, ophthalmology, critical care, and anesthesiology providers have reported declines in satisfaction since 2017 when the Collaborative first began measuring EHR satisfaction.

The individual measures that have gone down the most among these groups are:

  • Agreement that the EHR is reliable
  • Agreement that the EHR has fast system response time
  • Agreement that the EHR enables patient safety

A recent Collaborative report on EHR response time and reliability found that industrywide challenges with system response time and reliability present barriers to clinician satisfaction while compromising patient safety.

“Addressing these issues by improving their broader IT infrastructure could be one way for organizations to turn the tide for specialties with declining satisfaction,” the authors suggested.

Several organizations that recently measured EHR satisfaction through the Arch Collaborative survey had unusually high satisfaction in gynecology and obstetrics, anesthesiology, cardiology, and orthopedics.

To understand what contributed to this success, KLAS conducted in-depth interviews with officials from these organizations and analyzed survey comments from highly satisfied providers.

Common best practices included:

  • Individual involvement in EHR governance to better understand EHR changes and the logic behind them
  • The ability for providers to ask the IT department, EHR analysts, or their peers for recommendations on creating more efficient EHR workflows
  • Substantial use of EHR personalization tools that enhance clinical documentation
  • High quality EHR education, including mandatory training and self-learning to increase EHR knowledge and understanding

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