Clinicans

How KLAS is Helping Clinicians

In the last year, KLAS has started sharing the provider perspective in some new and different ways. With the Arch Collaborative, we are working to help provider organizations understand how well their EMRs work for the end-user clinicians, including both nurses and physicians.

Our goal with the Arch Collaborative is a little different from that of our other research efforts. It isn’t so much to differentiate which vendors are performing best, but rather to help provider organizations get the very most from the vendors they have already invested in. What can they learn from both the most satisfied organizations using their vendor and organizations using other vendors? Participating organizations want to break down the EMR experience and see which things work well and which don’t. Then they can start making some real decisions.

It can be difficult for organizations to sift out which EMR practices and efforts really make a difference. One high-performing organization might do one thing, and another might do the opposite. With the Arch Collaborative, KLAS is hoping to help providers demystify what can really move the needle for their organization. We are going about that in a few different ways.

In our main body of research, KLAS often speaks to executives. But with the Arch Collaborative, it’s the end users who share their direct experience with their EMRs. They offer an incredible level of granularity, not to mention passion, that can drive improvement efforts by the organization.

We also speak to the IT leadership and ask them about their culture, training methods, training frequency, and implementation methods. That helps us map their processes to the successes and struggles of the end users.

Also, with the feedback of the EMR end users, the Arch Collaborative been able to benchmark organizations among their peers. Then they can see where they are doing well and where they can improve.

With the multitude of feedback from the organizations who have joined the Collaborative so far, we are already finding some surprising conclusions. Here’s one example. Many people believe that the longer clinicians use an EMR, the happier they will be because they will get used to the system. But for the most part, that isn’t really the case. Physicians do get used to the EMR, but they continue to use it the same way for a few years. Then they look at the physician next to them and see that person using the system in new ways and using new features that aren’t familiar to these users who started out years ago. There is a drop-off in satisfaction when organizations don’t continually train and give refreshers on the EMR. Regular EMR education is just one of several fairly simple things we have found that can move the needle on EMR use and satisfaction.

In the long term, we hope participating organizations will take their clinicians’ feedback, work on things and improve, and then measure themselves again the next year to see where their efforts are really making a difference. It takes a lot of courage for provider organizations to ask how they really are doing. They are taking a hard look at whether they are making real improvements or just the appearance of improvements.

Ultimately, the organizations that are seeing the most EMR success have the chance to share what they have learned with their peers and help the industry as a whole to improve. Like the name “the Arch Collaborative” suggests, we hope to see providers learning from providers.