Highlights and Next Steps from the Arch Collaborative Learning Summit 2022 - Cover

Highlights and Next Steps from the Arch Collaborative Learning Summit 2022

It’s tough to point to just one favorite moment from this year’s Arch Collaborative Learning Summit. I always love the conversations that happen during the dedicated networking time. But this year, the summit was even more incredible because those conversations weren't just happening in the networking sessions.

I was the MC for the event, and I had the opportunity to quiet the room every time lunch was ending or a panel was about to start. The room was always buzzing with conversation. You could hear attendees as they shared ideas with each other about what worked or even didn’t work to improve their EHRs. Once, I told people it was time for a particular session, and half the people left the room. But the room didn't get any quieter. That energy showed me that people truly came to network and learn more from each other.

A Sense of Community

The Arch Collaborative team at KLAS tries hard to connect organizations with each other throughout the year. But time and time again, this event has proven to be the most successful way of doing that.

There is a strong sense of community at the summit; at their core, the attendees are people doing their best to solve a complex problem. Attendees tell us they appreciate knowing that they are not alone in struggling with issues. Working with the EHR and improving it for clinicians is a challenge for the entire industry, but the Arch Collaborative Learning Summit also shows that people are finding success.

Often, we see healthcare organizations trying to do everything by themselves. There's some merit to that; it's good to try and solve your own problems. But if another organization has done something different and has made their EHR better, it is probably worth your time to learn about it from them.

Successful Vendor Partnerships

About one-third of the presentations were co-presented by healthcare organizations and their vendors and service firms—more than we've ever had before. Historically, we've kept this type of presentation to EHR vendors. But this year we encouraged service firms and third-party vendors to present if they'd done something successful with an Arch Collaborative member.

These presentations are not meant to advertise for specific vendors or even to suggest that health systems can't improve on their own. But they do highlight the success of this type of partnership. There are vendors and service firms out there that want to facilitate the conversation and help. One vendor contact told me, “We see ourselves as an arrow in the quiver. There are lots of other arrows with their own purpose, but we're just here to help as best we can.”

So providers can tackle EHR issues alone. If they would like to partner with a vendor, that option is also available. Seeing the level of collaboration that vendor and provider groups can have was encouraging. Some health systems even referred to their vendors as part of their team.

Time to Plan

The Arch Collaborative Learning Summit isn’t just another event where people sit and listen all day. Attendees do come to listen, but the intention behind this event is to go beyond that. We tried hard this year to give organizations time to reconvene and plan. Many organizations had to travel back before they were able to meet, but those that stayed seemed to find real value in getting back together and discussing what they had learned. There was general excitement that there was working time at the event to put a plan together.

Before we gave the organizations time to plan, we had networking time, and I gave some very brief instructions. We had questions in the agenda that organizations could use as a guide. I then planned on reexplaining how we were going to approach the planning time when everyone got back. But we came back from networking, and organizations immediately sat at tables and started going through things. Some didn't want to sit in the room, and they went back up to their hotel rooms for a quieter environment.

It was awesome to see how these organizations immediately went to work and started tackling problems. So, it is my hope that those who needed to travel home can do this exercise on their own.

An organization told me at dinner that the summit had been impactful for them because they were leaving with actionable items to take back to their organization. Specifically, they had written down the problem to solve, the plan they wanted to try and implement, and the people who needed to be involved to make the plan happen.

Next Steps and an Invitation for Next Year

I would like every Arch Collaborative member to know that registration for the Arch Collaborative Learning Summit is included with their membership. This year we had 65 healthcare organizations come out of our 150+ members. In future summits, we want to see that number double and then triple because we want every member to experience the power of collaborating with others in healthcare.

The Arch Collaborative is here as a process improvement partner. As much as we may want it to be, the EHR isn't a start-and-end-point project; it is a continual improvement project. So, for the organizations that came, talk with us about your remeasurement date and about the initiatives that you're putting in place because of this event. For members who haven't measured since 2020 or 2019, talk to us about remeasuring to see where you are today. Then let's do a pre- and post-survey to prove to your executive team that your efforts are making a difference.

And for all Arch Collaborative members, I encourage you to keep going. Don’t stop. Keep improving your EHR and making a difference for your clinicians. We look forward to seeing you next year!

Photo Credit: MichaelJBerlin, Adobe Stock