How Atrius Health integrates health information technology into provider workflow

For Atrius Health, the use of health information technology is the health system's "bread and butter," according to chief medical officer Joe Kimura, M.D.

The electronic health record system and all health IT tools are integrated into most clinical workflows at the Newton, Massachusetts-based provider, Kimura tells Healthcare Informatics in an interview.

Every physician has an individual style in the work they do, he adds, and because EHRs can't be personalized to each individual, there needs to be a standard. However, that has its difficulties because it may make physicians have to change how they do things.

The best way to tackle those changes is to have a conversation and be transparent with employees, Kimura says. Doing that, organizations will see that physicians are more willing to work to understand the limitations and accept the changes.

"It's the process of transparency and a collective design approach. ... You have people's engagement at the get go, not at the very end," he says.

Kimura adds that to bring IT into the workflow, there needs to be structured data governance. This needs three levels: Executive, directors and the raw data element, he says.

In addition to improving the workflow for an individual, "to maximize the potential synergy between primary care teamwork and EHRs, clinical workflows need to evolve alongside EHR customization and development of new functionalities, where possible," according to researchers of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

To learn more:
- check out the interview

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