How Allina Health used EHR data to increase provider efficiency and satisfaction

According to a 2017 study by the Annals of Family Medicine, providers spend an average of 1.4 hours after work interacting with the EHR. With providers already working long hours each day, this extra time logged after clinical hours is playing a major role in decreased provider satisfaction. To address this challenge, organizations are using data to optimize their EHRs and improve provider efficiency.

Allina Health, a premier healthcare system based in Minneapolis, recently partnered with Nordic to do just that. Allina Health wanted to leverage its EHR data to support two main priorities: Increased EHR efficiency among their physicians and improved EHR customization for individual users.

In the video below, the Allina Health team − IS Medical Director-Ambulatory Dr. David Ingham, Data Analyst Matt Shadden, Supervisor of Clinical Training Nicole Kahnke, and Technical Training Specialist Sarah Carter − shares how Nordic built a customized dashboard to better leverage data to optimize Allina Health’s EHR. The dashboard helped increase provider efficiency, saving some providers up to 3.6 minutes per patient depending on the patient's complexity. 




Dr. Ingham: Allina Health is the premier health delivery system within the twin cities of Minnesota. We have 13 hospitals, 65 clinics and a wide variety of patients from the inner city out to the suburbs, and provide tertiary- and quaternary-level care throughout every specialty of medicine.

Matt Shadden: Physician happiness is incredibly important to the way the patients feel taken care of, which I mean, that really gets to the bottom line of what we're trying to provide. If the physician is burned out, they're not going to be working at 100 percent, and the patient is definitely going to feel that. And then we might lose the physician if it gets too bad.

Dr. Ingham: The EMR, for better or worse, has become sort of a symbol of burnout, and so making our EMR as efficient as possible is a top priority, and also customizing the EMR as much as possible for individuals has been a top priority.

Dr. Ingham: There's an immense amount of user data that comes out of Epic in the form of the PEP data. And this comes in a way that we were looking to really optimize our utilization of that data and make it as user friendly on an individual level as possible.

Matt Shadden: What Nordic helped us to do is to take the raw data from that and operationalize it using a dashboard so we could see it trended over time. We could use it more dynamically, we could focus in on our provider or pull out and focus on the organization specialty or a department.

Dr. Ingham: And we sort of brainstormed what the best information would be to display within the dashboard. That process was iterative, so we had a series of dashboards that came through, and we built upon each one to reach what's the end product and what I think is a really, really fantastic tool. I was really pleasantly surprised and really impressed with the usability and with the overall interface of the dashboard.

Nicole Kahnke: The goal of the performance support program is to help providers and clinical staff with their use of Epic, whether it's creating speed buttons or showing them efficient ways to search in the chart. Those are all tools that will save them time in Epic and help them focus more on patient care.

Nicole Kahnke: Prior to CPED, performance support trainers would meet with providers who are willing to meet with us, who felt like they are struggling, who felt like they would need help, but now with using the CPED data, we're able to look at a specific clinic and look at the providers and identify who might need help, who has a lower efficiency score, who is spending a lot of time documenting, and absolutely, the CPED data is helping us identify providers that we may have never met with that have been maybe flying under the radar and not speaking up that they want help from before a performance support trainer.

Sarah Carter: So, if I only have a couple minutes to walk by and give them some tips and tricks on the system, I know exactly what tools I can pinpoint on when I have their attention for maybe five minutes or so. The total time saved by the providers was three minutes and eight seconds per patient, and a provider can see an average of 24 patients a day.

Matt Shadden: My experience with Nordic was fantastic.

Nicole Kahnke: I thought we had a really great partnership. Nordic was always there to answer questions.

Dr. Ingham: There's a lot of sticking to timelines, so I really appreciated that.

Matt Shadden: The level of expertise in this area, in particular, creating the dashboard, I was absolutely blown away.

Dr. Ingham: Coming in on or over budget is sometimes problematic, and with Nordic, they're really coming in where they estimated or a little under, which was great for everybody involved in having a great working relationship.

Matt Shadden: So anytime I had a question, I would throw an email or a phone call their way, and I immediately got a response, and I definitely felt like I was being listened to, that my feedback was important, and the whole experience was great. I would definitely want to work with them again.

Topics: performance improvement

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