Sydney

A Global Collaborative: Bringing the Arch to Australia

In the US, the EMR has been common for so long that most movement in the market is due to consolidation. In Australia, however, the EMR is relatively new. According to the HIMSS Analytics-provided EMR Adoption Model, 48.2% of the hospitals in the Asia Pacific region (compared to 3.7% in the US) were still in Stage 0 out of 7 in 2015.

Certain EMR vendors are working to increase their presence in Australia. They claim that their tools work in Australia just as well as they work in the US and other regions. However, as KLAS highlights in their Global EMR Performance 2018 report, implementation problems, functionality gaps, and delays are still very common for Australian EMR users.

We kept hearing from vendors that Australian EMR users were getting a good experience, but we didn’t want to take the vendors’ word for it. We wanted to hear straight from the clinicians. Luckily, we heard about an intriguing way to do just that.

The Arch Collaborative

I first learned of the Arch Collaborative about three years ago, before all the specifics of the program had been nailed down. We met with KLAS to discuss the aims and intent of the Collaborative. We liked what we heard, so we became one of the first healthcare organisations to join.

We had three main expectations of our participation in the Collaborative:

  1. To get some quantitative data about our clinicians’ experience with our EMR
  2. To determine how we were faring in comparison to our peers across the country and beyond
  3. To use claims drawn from the Collaborative research to help us make sense of our organisation’s survey results

We were grateful to know that we wouldn’t have to stumble blindly through our efforts to improve our EMR. Instead, we could ask our clinicians questions. The answers—from clinicians at our own organisation as well as others—gave us an accurate idea of where we were and how we could get to our desired destination.

Quantitative Data About Our Clinicians’ Experience

Our clinicians (including our doctors, nurses, and other helpers who touch our patients) use the EMR every day. And yet the specifics about their EMR experience were always hidden. We had launched some efforts to gather some information about that, but we were eager to get even more.

Our informatics team is very small in comparison to US health systems’. The fact that we have such limited resources makes it especially critical that we have as much recent, quantitative data as possible. That is the only way we can feel confident that we are doing the best things for our clinicians.

The Arch Collaborative survey was an effective way for us to query our clinicians. The survey’s results left us with detailed, candid, and current information about the state of our EMR and the clinicians using it.

How We Were Faring in Comparison to Peers

The data from our survey results was wonderful, but its value would have been severely limited had we not also been shown how our results looked against other organisations’. We needed real-time benchmarking data to see our true position. Luckily, we got it.

Because our informatics force was so much smaller than many US organisations’, we had worried that our organisation was in a relatively poor position. As it turned out, we had been working very efficiently compared to other organisations measured by the Arch Collaborative. In fact, we achieved the 97th percentile in the Collaborative for initial training.

We were grateful to find that we were in a better position than we’d realised. The results even pleased our EMR vendor, who learned that they had attained a top spot among vendors measured in the Collaborative. The validation of our training methodology and vendor relationship both comforted and inspired us.

Using the Collaborative’s Claims

Reassured that we were headed in the right direction, we looked even more closely at the Collaborative data to decide which steps to take next. Trends that emerged in the collective results of the Collaborative survey gave us valuable insight into general dos and don’ts.

In addition to reviewing the universal truths found via the Collaborative, I also gained a lot of insight by attending the Collaborative summit in May to hear other Collaborative members share their wisdom. I heard ideas about how I could help our clinicians better engage with the EMR. I also learned about some new ways that we could try deploying things across the EMR.

I’m excited for the chance to hone our clinicians’ methods. Because of the lessons gleaned from the Arch Collaborative and its participants, I believe we will be able to help our clinicians do what they’re already doing but in a smarter way.

Add Your Clinicians’ Voices

Each country and healthcare organisation has its own healthcare model and challenges. But even organisations in unique situations can learn and teach much through participating in the Arch Collaborative.

Whether you live in the US, Australia, or somewhere else entirely, I hope you’ll add your clinicians’ voices to the Arch Collaborative. We’ll be listening.