Nearly all healthcare organizations today have implemented an electronic health record (EHR), but many clinicians are expressing dissatisfaction with their system’s workflows and overall usability. A new report from the Utah-based KLAS Research examined which clinical optimization services firms are best at helping providers get the most value out of these platforms.
According to KLAS researchers, provider dissatisfaction often stems from gaps in training and customization, which aren’t always prioritized during the initial implementation. The result is often poor EHR adoption and clinician burnout. As such, KLAS noted that clinical optimization projects focus on improving how clinical systems operate and are used by clinicians, and these services should result in improved patient care, ROI, and physician use and adoption.
To solve these problems, KLAS said, clinical optimization services firms offer three key levers proven to help organizations realize the promised value of their EHR: (1) workflow refinement, (2) application enhancement, and (3) clinician training.
Provider organizations often turn to clinical optimization firms when they lack sufficient resources or expertise internally to meet their goals in the desired time frame. Engagements are usually sparked by an event—like the implementation of a new EHR, a significant upgrade, or the decision to standardize to a single EHR platform (often after a provider organization acquisition). Many organizations use different firms for different levers, KLAS noted.
Clinical optimization is one of the highest-rated services that KLAS measures. Four of the five firms in this study have overall scores above 90 and the fifth is rated 89.9. Chartis Group clients report the highest satisfaction overall in serving health systems using Epic or Cerner; the firm was also the 2020 Best in KLAS winner for this segment. Nordic also stands out for consistently delivering a positive experience across clients. Other companies mentioned in the report included Atos and Impact Advisors.
In terms of high-impact improvement activities, retaining a significant portion of clinical users, reworking significant user workflows and hiring more informatics staff ranked as most successful in improving respondents’ net EHR experience scores—snapshots of clinicians’ overall satisfaction with the EHR environments at the organization. Other improvement activities noted that led to a positive change in an organization’s EHR experience score included overhauling or making significant changes to the training program and upgrading the EHR system.