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How Does the Implementation of an Electronic Health Records System Affect Doctors and Staff?

For almost a decade, the proliferation of EHR systems in hospitals and private practices has grown, becoming universal in many countries. The benefits of digitizing healthcare include improving patient participation, care coordination and diagnostics, as well as substantial cost savings.

With a well-structured and successfully implemented EHR system in place, health care providers overwhelmingly report enhanced patient care and more positive clinical outcomes.

However, improvements in accurate diagnosis and patient care are not the only concerns for hospital administrators. Avoiding doctor burnout and improving staff retention is also a major concern. The number one reported reason for these issues: a poorly implemented EHR system.

When EHR systems are not properly structured and customized to appropriately fit the workflow of healthcare providers, the benefits can significantly decrease, even becoming deficits. Doctors using underdeveloped EHR systems face enormous documentation requirements, time-consuming login and navigational obstacles, and a sharp decline in face-to-face interaction with patients.

How a Complete EHR System Helps Retain Staff

Nurses and other vital staff often have multiple roles solving multiple clinical, administrative, technological, and financial issues daily. Juggling these workloads can easily become more than one person can handle, resulting in frustration and job dissatisfaction. Some staff ultimately seek employment elsewhere or leave the healthcare industry altogether.

A well-executed EHR implementation can have the exact opposite effect by reducing staff workloads, automating burdensome processes, and removing communication hurdles. With a workforce management strategy in place, staff function more efficiently and achieve improved work/life balance.

An EHR system that is intuitive to use, works on multiple devices, and mirrors a facility’s workflow helps maintain and even attract staff.

How a Properly Implemented EHR System Reduces Doctor Burnout

As anyone who has worked in healthcare can attest to, administrative duties account for a significant amount of time and operating costs. Doctors spend a substantial portion of their day filling out and processing forms. The transition from paper-based record keeping to an EHR system is intended to increase efficiency and free up staff time to better focus on patient care. A poorly-implemented solution has the opposite effect: With a subpar implementation, many doctors find themselves spending more time entering data and less time face to face with patients, resulting in extreme frustration.

When planned and executed properly, an effective EHR system supports doctors and reduces the burdens of their daily duties, streamlining their ability to access and enter data, quickly share information with other hospital departments, and ultimately spend more time with their patients.

Doctor duties are varied, and the flexibility afforded by a versatile EHR system can be a key asset. With a powerful and streamlined EHR system like HarmoniMD™, doctors can work from their mobile devices at home or the office. With up-to-date information available at their fingertips, doctors can create orders for services, lab tests, imaging, and any other needed procedure anytime, anywhere.

Enabling doctors to carry out their day-to-day tasks efficiently and easily increases job satisfaction. Instead of spending time on data entry, doctors can more easily diagnose patients and coordinate treatment with colleagues, thereby reducing burnout and offering the most efficient care possible.

A Poorly Executed EHR Implementation Can Drive Good Staff Away

Even the most advanced EHR system can have negative impacts on doctors and staff if not implemented correctly.

Consider the following for supporting staff and reducing EHR burnout during implementation:

  • Think through your workflow: Work with IT staff and your EHR vendor to improve the usability of a system in the context of your workflow. Many small changes to how, where, and when data is entered can have a substantial positive effect on your implementation.
  • EHR proficiency takes time: Reduce frustration and increase efficiency by providing adequate training for staff.
  • Understand that EHR advantages are only achieved through a functioning system: Administrators must know that any EHR problems are solvable through optimization and customization to fit facility workflows.
  • A new EHR system is a group effort: Everyone who will be using the system should be a part of the implementation process. When staff concerns are addressed, their work-life balance will improve and result in better health care service.

Implementing an electronic health record system can be a challenging undertaking. It is important to consider the wants and needs of both doctors and hospital staff in order to successfully utilize a new EHR system.

Improve Professional Wellness with an Advanced EHR System

Doctor burnout and staff retention are serious issues for any hospital or healthcare system. For this reason, it is important to use an Electronic Health Record system that has the tools and flexibility needed to allow doctors and staff to complete their duties efficiently and in line with their existing workflow.

A well-designed EHR system gives doctors more control and oversight regarding patient care and facility procedures. HarmoniMD is rooted in the experience of seasoned medical professionals– including doctors, nurses, and administrators. This vast expertise has been leveraged to build, test, and refine a system that helps to attract and maintain hospital staff. To learn more about the benefits of the next generation of advanced EHR systems, please contact us today!