A Recap of the Eastern Arch Collaborative Summit

Back before live events fell victim to COVID-19, the Arch Collaborative met annually to give participating member organizations a chance to work together through deep discussions away from the distractions of their daily workflow. It feels odd to think back to the sheer number of handshakes there were—something that has likely gone the way of the dinosaur in terms of human interactions. I am hopeful that KLAS will soon gather with Collaborative members face to face, allowing us all to continue working on the big problems of healthcare. Until then, we can’t meet—and so, I write.

Arch Collaborative events normally focus on high-level discussions about best practices for improving the EHR, and these discussions are designed for the leadership of health systems. However, earlier this year—when it was safe to do so—KLAS trekked out to Charleston, SC to meet with the actual teams executing on EHR optimization tactics.

With this group of boots-on-the-ground clinical and IT staff, KLAS was able to take benchmarks on their specific organizations. We helped them walk through solutions to the validated problems that they are facing. It was hard to overstate the impact that having actual data from each specific organization had on the day-long discussions.

If you’ve ever been to a conference and felt frustrated halfway through that all of the content lived strictly in the realm of the theoretical—it turns out the antidote is data!

In general, the discussion centered around a few key areas of EHR optimization, including:

  • Onboarding EHR Education
  • Clinician Efficiency & Personalization
  • Shared Ownership & Governance

It was powerful to watch an organization who had scored low in onboarding education wrestle with this problem. After a morning of brainstorming on possible moves forward, this organization identified a few key metrics they needed to move the needle on in order to boost their onboarding education experience. However, the group ran into a roadblock—their solutions cost money.

Columnists across the US continue to write endless stories warning us of the coming second wave of coronavirus, leading many to reevaluate the optimism they felt in early 2020 that normalcy would resume in Q3 and Q4. As such, COVID-19 continues to unseat carefully planned budgets across the industry. The situation also puts increasing stress onto the backs of already stressed front-line clinicians. Really, it is hard to point to a time where low-cost, effective solutions for burnout have been more needed.

As the famous saying goes, “without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” And in a pandemic that has been accompanied by relentless opining across press and social media, the last thing healthcare needs is more opinions.  

Imagine my delight, then, as teams attending the Arch Collaborative summit used validated data to identify changes to be made and structure their suggestions based around the Arch Collaborative best practices. Collaborative members reported that this data has helped in the requests for increases in FTEs and changes to protocol, as well as helped people more readily navigate the approval process. Members can access any of these generalized findings through the Arch Collaborative Guidebook, which KLAS updates annually to reflect the latest generalizable data from surveyed organizations.

The good news is that, while much of the Collaborative’s data is member-only, many of the reports have a publicly accessible component. Even if your organization isn’t participating currently in the Arch Collaborative effort, you can learn more about how to improve your clinicians’ success with their EHR here.



     Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, Mediteraneo