Hospital IT leaders: Workflow issues difficult to overcome during EHR implementation

In a recent roundtable discussion focusing on challenges associated with implementing electronic health record systems, several hospital executives pointed to workflow issues as being the most difficult to overcome, Becker's Hospital Review reported.

For instance, Jonathan Bauer, CIO at Somerset (Pa.) Hospital, pointed to physician documentation as being particularly burdensome, especially since such systems often promote the documentation of more information.

"The main request that physicians have is that they want a scribe," Bauer said. "They want to do what they have done for years and have someone else document in the system."

Meanwhile, Theron Pappas, CIO at Manitowoc, Wis.-based Holy Family Health, suggested putting the onus on patients to fill in information for themselves to save time, particularly for nurses and physicians. "A lot of the things we gather are things that patients could fill out themselves, either through portals before they visit or a little kiosk when they come into the office," he said. "We are currently committing our nurses to spending 15 minutes of patient intake when it shouldn't take that long."

EHR implementation can be especially tough for small physician practices, as a report published in January by the Washington Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) outlined. The report's authors referred to the EHR implementation process as "a psychological rollercoaster" that involves unrealistic expectations for providers.

Daniel Morreale, vice president and CIO at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York City told EHRIntelligence last month that they key to overcoming EHR implementation issues is "finding what's valuable for [physicians]" and getting them to realize that such tools will make their lives easier.

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