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    Poor design hampers EHR usability, doctors say


    Dr. Friedberg is spot on: There’s too much crappy information in EHRs. But this problem won’t be solved with just a user interface overhaul. Our cloud-based network gives us the ability to see what information providers are clicking and spending time on. We can learn from this aggregate user behavior what data are important and should be brought to the front versus buried a layer deeper. We can do this by specialty; we can do it with orders; and we can share and encourage best practices within a health system or across the entire country.

    We’re not done yet, but we’re getting close.

    Cuthbert (MEDENT): These comments make a lot of sense. It is an art form designing software that needs to handle fairly complex issues to accomplish what is needed, all the while being simple, fast and efficient for the user.

    Systems should allow the user to place the clinical information in positions on the screen where they want to see it. This will provide the user with some control over how they are able to view all the information they need to see. It gives them the ability to process the information in best sequence for them to provide the best level of care for their patients. Taking advantage of space on the screen with sidebars that can be customized and optimized should be available as well.

    Key information such as balance, wait times, recent results and disease management tools are a few examples of items that should be within an eye’s reach. Also, it’s worth noting that our product can document the progress note in various ways.  Sometimes, speech recognition can help efficiently record the patient's visit. Speech technology has come a long way recently and EHR systems can take advantage of these advancements to provide a high level of flexibility. Being flexible puts the user in the driver’s seat.

    There is no question that most users can benefit from investing more educational time into their system. Having brief educational videos available, at the point of workflow, can be very helpful. Sign up for e-newsletters, attend user group meetings, or call in to support with any questions. You may be surprised at the functionality available that you may not be aware of. I think as a vendor we need to take initiative to provide that knowledge and empower the user.

    Frantz (NextGen): We understand that our clients are experts in care delivery. We never want to shoe-horn our clients’ workflow into our technology and processes. Instead, we focus on enabling clients to work the way that they want to work, and we meet them wherever they are in the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care. We provide a platform that adapts to their business and work jointly to tailor the system and processes, to deliver on their business management, patient and caregiver satisfaction, and population health management goals.

    It’s open conversation that starts before implementation and continues with our dedicated account management resources and specialized professional services team who provide best practices and insights to optimize the existing investment in HIT.

    We take a consultative, proactive approach, offering hundreds of complimentary classes for clients focused on implementation, business optimization, regulatory requirements and quality initiatives, to name a few. And based on our clients’ feedback, we are focused on increasing opportunities for peer-to-peer best practice sharing, via our in-person user group meetings and our online client success community, which is available 24/7.


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