EMR Optimization Case Study

The Asante Alliance Epic Physician Optimization team, currently engaged at PeaceHealth on their three state, system-wide Epic implementation, is led by Dr’s Sara Ward, MD, Andy Mohan, MD and Raymond Choi, MD. Our key focus is to analyze PeaceHealth clinic and clinician workflows from patient check-in all the way to check-out during their Epic ambulatory implementation.  Having strong clinical backgrounds gives our team an advantage because we are able to draw from our own experiences when determining what workflows have issues, which staff members need the most training, and where the bottlenecks might occur.  

As physicians, we can approach staff MDs and RNs as peers and on their own level.  It can be difficult for physicians to have outside consultants come in and shadow them and make suggestions or critiques regarding their work, etc.  We can alleviate this by using our own clinical expertise to make observations that may have been otherwise missed by non-clinicians or non-MDs. 

We use classroom training on a small scale to cover broader topics and also allow the staff to ask questions, concerns, and bring ideas for improvement.  These sessions can be targeted to specific groups of people (Coumadin clinic, social work, nursing staff) so that their time is utilized appropriately.

We also work one-on-one with the providers and again utilize our own medical background and knowledge of physician work processes to make suggestions for improved efficiency.  The one-on-one sessions allow us to make the training session specific to that provider's workflow.  We then follow up in order to solidify any training and evaluate the progression of the staff member.  

Having clinically based EMR subject-matter experts on board is crucial to helping build changes that can make a large difference in staff satisfaction.  Often times small build fixes can make an enormous difference to the staff and, in turn, their adoption of the EMR. This engagement was a strong success and we are currently being asked to expand this service and help with the next phase of the Peacehealth Epic implementation.

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