ALL EHRs are not created equal. EHR usability directly impacts the burden of documentation.
The leading EHRs securely manage patient health information, but the way they do this can be vastly different. When clinical documentation is a source of frustration for doctors, there is a mismatch between their preferred documentation workflow and the EHR user interface. In fact, a top cause of physician dissatisfaction with their EHRs is spending too much time on tedious data entry tasks. EHR usability should be a primary consideration because it can alleviate -- or conversely, increase -- the burden of documentation.
Here are five critical questions to ask when evaluating the usability of an EHR.
- How do you insert information into the appropriate EHR sections?
- Is there remote access for when a doctor is out of the office?
- What is the degree of Interoperability? Does the EHR provide the ability for sharing data with authorized providers for coordination of care?
- Does the EHR provide coding assistance to help avoid claim denials?
- How extensive and easy to use are the data mining and reporting capabilities for audit trails or meeting government requirements?
Make a decision based on usability
EHR usability is a big deal because you and your staff will be using it every day, all day. Your EHR shapes your office's workflow, affects doctor-patient interaction, and impacts, for better or worse, your revenue.
To learn how ZyDoc can bridge the EHR usability gap, schedule a brief informative demonstration. No pressure, no obligation. We're here to help.
Weigh the pro's and cons. Talk to other users, search EHR / EMR reviews on 3rd-party sites like capterra.com, g2crowd.com, and the annual Best in KLAS report, and request in-depth demos for the stakeholders in your organization. A decision-making spreadsheet is helpful to rank features and compare vendor platforms. If your IT team (or consultant) is not leading the search already, get them involved early on in the evaluation process to determine the feasibility of implementation and system management, and not least, to review security safeguards.
What if you can't find the perfect system? Or the functionalities are there, but the EHR user experience is not a good fit for each of your doctors? (This is likely the case, because physicians' cognitive processes are highly individual.) Ultimately, you'll need to make a choice that checks off most of the important boxes for your practice. In many cases, missing features you need can be supplied by 3rd-party vendors who specialize in EHR integrations.