Amidst this change, however, EHRs remain a source of daily annoyance for many clinicians. Designed to help improve workflows, EHRs have instead been blamed for adding to alert fatigue and burnout among care providers.
For some health IT experts though EHRs should not be viewed as the enemy – so long as they're designed and deployed correctly. Widespread EHR dissatisfaction among clinicians, as noted by HIMSS Chief Clinical Officer Dr Charles Alessi, stems from a number of factors including onerous federal documentation requirements, the pains of prior authorisation, malpractice fears and more. Ultimately, said Alessi, burnout among medical providers is about "loss of control."
Also, as shown in a study by KLAS' Arch Collaborative, EHR user experience is only one of the problems. The study pointed to "critical gaps in users' understanding of how to optimise their EHR." The findings suggest the need for healthcare organisations to educate and train clinicians on how to make the software work better for them.
AI Helping Vendors to Improve EHRs
Executives at Epic and Cerner, two key market players, have shown a growing sense of responsibility for designing their products in a way that will address clinician burnout.
For example, Epic sends its programmers out to customer sites all over the U.S., or "immersion trips", to determine how its software can perform better.
Cerner, meanwhile, has made new investments in usability and UX, with many of the new features designed to improve clinicians’ satisfaction with help from AI. The vendor makes innovative uses of analytics and real-time feedback to optimise EHR systems.
"Continued investment in AI-enabled workflows, machine learning solutions and natural language processing are key ways we’re committed to ensuring the EHR remains a tool that helps physicians do their jobs and deliver the best care," said Dr Jeffrey Wall, director and physician strategy executive at Cerner.
Another vendor, Allscripts, is working with Northwell Health to co-develop a new AI-powered EHR: a cloud-hosted, voice-enabled system, designed and built with close input from clinicians and IT staff. This system is what the collaborators call the “next-generation” EHR.
Source: Healthcare IT News