Beyond the usability of electronic health records, highly satisfied clinicians see the EHR as an efficient tool essential to delivering better patient care, according to KLAS researchers in a new Arch Collaborative study.
Of the self-described “highly satisfied” EHR users surveyed for the report, researchers asked: “What do you believe you do differently from some of your peers that enables you to be highly successful with the EHR?”
The Successful User’s Guide to High EHR Satisfaction offers insights into specific factors that clinicians and provider organizations can focus on to improve their own EHR satisfaction, such as ease of use and peer training.
KLAS researchers examined the feedback of 3,061 highly satisfied clinicians collected between December 2021 and December 2022, calculating overall “Net EHR Experience Scores” and analyzing trends based on the Arch Collaborative’s three pillars of EHR satisfaction: user mastery, shared ownership and personalization.
“On average, highly satisfied users report a [NEES] more than twice as high as the average clinician,” the researchers said.
KLAS researchers reported that highly satisfied EHR users are :
3.8 times more likely to agree or strongly agree that initial training prepared them well to use the EHR.
6.6 times more likely to agree or strongly agree that their organization implemented the EHR well.
1.8 times more likely to have a highly personalized EHR.
While the researchers found that the use of personalization is the top success factor for EHR satisfaction, a combination of personal initiative, experience with a specific EHR, and “having a good attitude,” were also common attributes of the most successful EHR users.
To that end, the guide divides the success factors and related commentary between doctors and nurses.
While “providers feel they are on their own when it comes to understanding what personalizations are available to them and how to make them and then finding time to implement them,” personalization tools are less important for nurses because they are less prevalent in nurse workflows, the researchers said.
Implementation of personalization tools “is frequently driven by the providers themselves and represents an opportunity for healthcare organizations and vendors to better support providers” Health systems can build time and conditions into providers’ schedules to personalize the EHR to better fit their workflow needs, KLAS advised.
THE LARGER TREND
Satisfaction with EHR is important for retention in healthcare, a previous KLAS study examining EHR satisfaction by specialty found.
Important to EHR satisfaction in specialties was specific to workflow training. Hospital medicine physicians had the highest EHR satisfaction score, and anesthesiology was less satisfied than in prior years.
“Though it may take significant time and effort to build specialty-specific workflow training, providers who strongly agree their training was specialty-specific are almost 25 times more likely to agree that the EHR has the functionality they need,” said the researchers.
A look at nurse satisfaction with EHRs over the years fluctuates from being unhappy with their EHRs to grading them an F. However, nurse EHR satisfaction noticeably slid during the stress of the pandemic.
KLAS researchers were clear when they released their 2022 Nursing Guidebook that allowing frontline nurses to make EHR requests is best practice and helps to build relationships between nurses and the IT department.
“Organizations should focus on helping nurses get to the root problem and then work together with analysts to find a solution,” the KLAS researchers advised.
ON THE RECORD
“Highly satisfied EHR users give a variety of responses when asked what differentiates them from less satisfied peers, but the most common success factor – reported by 27% – is personal initiative,” according to the KLAS researchers.
“This includes proactive efforts by the clinician to learn the EHR and seek help when they have questions.”
Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.
Stephanie Chia, Russ Hinz and Susan Tolin will offer more detail in the HIMSS23 session “Equity on Chicago’s South Side: Connected Care Technology.” It is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 at 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. CT at the South Building, Level 1, room S103.