At another hospital, dressing changes for catheters were sometimes missed, which is obviously out of compliance with evidence-based guidelines around preventing sepsis and other complications. Nurses had long voiced their dissatisfaction that the EHR could not provide a reminder for wound care. When my own teams discovered this issue, we created a status board for wound care patients, and incorporated a reminder for dressing changes.
The overarching point: these are the kinds of tweaks users will commonly ask for and will improve safety and quality. But they aren’t part of the standard EHR certification and training curriculum.
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Ultimately, the more usable applications are—especially EHRs—the less stress users experience. This is certainly reflected in studies that have identified a direct link between EHR usability and burnout, which is yet another compelling reason for hospitals to commit to rigorous application management, either internally or externally. Again, hospitals don’t have to live with a problematic EHR. And after discovering the experience of an EHR that works as intended, they’ll never go back to the old, frustrating way again.
About the author: Ann Crow is a senior client support executive with IT solutions consultancy CTG. Ann specializes in large-scale, enterprise application support that enable business continuity for health systems during mergers & acquisitions, the shift to value-based care, technology deployments and other major initiatives.
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