Analysis of Physician EHR Documentation Habits Improves Productivity
Physicians at one academic medical center were able to cut the time they spent on electronic health record (EHR) documentation by 36 percent as a result of streamlined workflows and fewer mouse clicks, an analysis found.
As part of its preparations for ICD-10, Atlanta’s Emory Healthcare endeavored to reduce the time physicians spent charting in the evenings from their homes. The after-hours charting is referred to as “Pajama Time” among physicians, because it usually happens between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., and on weekends, Becker’s Health IT and CIO Review reports.
To better understand how physicians used their charting time, Emory partnered with their EHR vendor to video record physicians who considered themselves EHR proficient. The vendor and provider then counted each physician’s mouse clicks. Emory and the vendor then devised workflows within the EHR that they deemed more efficient than those physicians had been using. The efficiencies focused on parts of the EHR that doctors of all specialties used most frequently: chart review, documentation, diagnoses and medical reconciliation, and orders and billing.
Once the workflow changes were incorporated and went live, the vendor contracted with coaches in order to subspecialize and become acquainted with newly developed features, Becker’s reported.
Within eight weeks, “physicians’ Pajama Time dropped 36 percent, and one-third of clicks were eliminated from their workflow. In total, 37 departments, 1,650 providers and five hospitals have participated in this program over the past seven months,” Becker’s wrote.