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The Arch Collaborative Summit: What We're Learning

Today is Day 1 of the second annual Arch Collaborative Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hundreds of provider and vendor leaders are here to discuss everything about improving the clinician experience with the EHR.

Today is also a great day to be content writers for KLAS. We get to sit next to some of the biggest names in healthcare IT, and the only thing we have to do is take notes.

The afternoon began with an introduction from KLAS President Adam Gale. He started by thanking the hundreds of attendees. “You are the people we want to collaborate with,” he said. “You’re high-energy, passionate, loud, and opinionated. We are blown away by the intensity that you bring to the table—in the best way.”

Many provider and vendor attendees doubtless came with specific hopes on what to gain from the Collaborative. Adam clarified the ultimate purpose of the Arch Collaborative. “The real goal isn’t just to create happy clinicians, though that is a good thing. The real question is: Are clinicians enabled to deliver better care?”

With a visual of the Avengers, Adam finished his introduction by telling the group, “We want to create superheroes out of our clinicians and assemble them into incredible teams.”

Adam then introduced our powerhouse keynote speaker: Liz Johnson, CIO at Tenet Health, past chair of CHIME, and rated for three years in a row as one of the most powerful women in healthcare. “She is a wildly capable clinical and IT leader,” Adam said. “She likes to break things and put them back together in a better way.”

Liz began started by reminding us why we were all at the Summit: to work together toward improvement. “Partnership equals progress,” Liz said. “Each of us has come with unique knowledge. We need to encourage conversations that lead to solutions, and that’s what we are doing at the Summit today.”

Next, Liz took some time to share some experiences she and Tenet had learned from in recent years. In 2010, they had 56 hospitals, no specific standards, and no functional EMR. Tenet put together a team to select an EHR vendor, build standards, and move to a digital and interoperable environment within 48 months.

Tenet didn’t immediately find success. The physicians were frustrated with electronic order sets, and they didn’t trust that the EHR had enough information or the right information. But Liz and Tenet didn’t let that deter them.

Liz shared the keys Tenet used to address the problems they see. Each of the keys fell under the topic of governance. They started by setting up a new infrastructure, created Specialty Physician Councils, and then chose Clinical/Operations Project Owners to lead the charge.

Another idea Liz tried and loved was the “sprint” process. “We brought people in from the field, sat them in a room for five days, and put together a solution. I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.

Finally, Liz shared a few details about changes CMS wants to implement to their standards by 2021 and the importance of getting involved to make sure CMS regulations truly meets provider needs. “We can’t let anything interfere in our most important work,” she told us.

By this point, Adam and Liz had us rearing to get into the breakout discussions and panels scheduled for the rest of the Summit. We couldn’t wait to hear attendees’ wisdom about everything from ongoing training to burnout prevention.

Stay tuned to hear more about the Arch Collaborative Summit experience and the invaluable learnings shared from the best minds in the healthcare IT industry.