Listen to Clinicians

Listening to the Smartest People in the Room

I recently heard a bit by comedian Jim Gaffigan about having his fourth child:

“If you want to know what it’s like to have a fourth kid, just imagine you’re drowning and then someone hands you a baby.”

As a father of six kids (yes, six—that’s not a typo) myself, I can personally relate. Often, raising my children feels like a balancing act between empowering them to make decisions and dealing with the chaos that inevitably follows their decision-making.

Without stretching this analogy too far, sometimes managing change within a healthcare organization can feel the same—not because those who work in healthcare are childlike, but because anytime we empower a large group of people to make change and have their voices heard, chaos can ensue.

Taylors Fam

This—among other reasons—explains why Deloitte recently discovered that only 34% of physicians reported being asked for feedback on their EHR.

We would first like to thank Deloitte for this research; we love seeing more data! Second, and surprisingly, this is actually a more optimistic number than we found in our initial survey for the Arch Collaborative. We found that less than 10% of organizations had ever formally surveyed their clinicians regarding EHR Feedback.

I understand the trepidation that many organizations may feel in soliciting this kind of data from their end users. As an industry, we’re trying too hard to make medicine uniform, and empowering more voices can feel like we are frustrating that process. It takes a brave C-suite to look for critics of their costly, time-consuming EHR.

However, those intrepid executives who take the leap of faith and solicit feedback often find that the benefits far outweigh the concerns.  

Healthcare organizations employ some of the smartest people in the world on their clinical teams. While these clinicians may not be database savvy or understand the ins and outs of a workflow, they do understand how to provide care.

Providers leverage the insights from of years in education and collective decades of care experience as they bring their voices to the conversation about EHR optimization. If done correctly, giving providers a voice doesn’t result in a chaotic chorus of differing opinions.

For example, several high-satisfaction member organizations of the Arch Collaborative have developed governance structures that encourage blending IT and clinical voices.

They utilize techniques such as,

  • Biweekly “clinician update” meetings;
  • Clinician concierge IT services;
  • Treating the role of physician informatics as a customer service;
  • Taking the IT help desk out on rounds.

The details behind these techniques are what make or break their success in an organization—thus the “collaborative” aspect of the Arch Collaborative.

As organizational leaders come together to discuss best practices and lessons learned from failures, they can adapt and implement successful practices in their own organizations.

Our invitation to providers who aren’t among the 34% that have solicited feedback is to take the opportunity to leverage the smart, talented, and passionate EHR optimization experts you’re already paying: your clinicians.

Learn more about the Arch Collaborative.