Is Your EHR Helping or Hurting Employee Morale?

Sarah Saj, In-Practice Technology Services Associate Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Physician Practice Employee Morale

Even though you are in the business of providing patient care, you and your staff spend the majority of the day on the computer. Your Electronic Health Record (EHR) system is the foundation of your practice and it is a key factor in driving employee satisfaction. In a recent survey from Black Book Research, 80 percent of job-seeking registered nurses reported that the reputation of the organization's EHR system was a top three consideration in their decision about where they wanted to work.

Your EHR system is a key factor in hiring and retaining talent within your organization. Here are three ways you can make sure that you are using your EHR system to your advantage:

Create an Effective Onboarding Process

Staff turnover can cause disruption in the office and impact your ability to provide high-quality care. Although some level of turnover is expected in physician practices, you can reduce your turnover rate by providing a comprehensive onboarding program. The EHR system should be a major focus of the onboarding program, since it is a large component of most jobs within the practice.

Here are a few ways you can create a positive onboarding experience and ensure your new employees are ready to hit the ground running with your EHR system:

  • Dedicate a super-user to work with the new staff member. This is someone in your practice who demonstrates strong computer skills, a positive attitude, good workflow habits, and a willingness to go above and beyond. Super-users may be monetarily rewarded for taking on extra responsibility in their role, which will motivate them to remain on staff at the practice.
  • Have a written EHR training guide. A training guide allows new hires the opportunity to refer back to workflows and data entry tips easily and without having to ask for help from another employee. The training guide should show step-by-step instructions and provide clear direction on how to complete each task.
  • Check in with your new staff members regularly to see if they are struggling in any areas. Meet with the super-user to identify any areas where the new users may need additional guidance.

Offer Continuing Education for Existing Staff

Existing employees need training to stay up-to-date on your EHR’s latest features and updates. You can also use this time to gain their feedback on how the system is working. When your staff feels informed about changes to systems and workflows, it will reduce stress and burnout that can cause turnover. The Black Book survey also found that 85 percent of nurses see competency with at least one EHR system as a highly sought-after employment skill, and 65 percent believe that being familiar with multiple EHRs is a valuable skill for employment. By providing ongoing training to your employees, it will not only improve productivity, but it will also provide them with highly-valued skills.

Continue to Optimize Your EHR

An EHR is an ongoing investment in your practice. Optimization can identify ways to use your EHR more efficiently and reduce some of the day-to-day challenges faced by your staff. EHR Optimization consultants are knowledgeable about the EHR software, as well as your office workflows and daily operations. Most EHR consultants will recommend an onsite visit to view the EHR in action and observe workflows in order to suggest best practices that can save time and clicks. Optimization visits also give your staff a chance to voice pain points and identify possible system issues. Employee involvement in optimization decisions can lead to improved morale and retention.

Your EHR system has more influence on employee morale than you might think. By focusing your attention on onboarding new staff and providing continuing education for existing staff, you can improve productivity and reduce staff burnout. Your employees are your most valuable asset. By investing in them, you are investing in the future of your practice.

Source:

https://healthitanalytics.com/news/ehr-satisfaction-rises-usability-complaints-drop-for-nurses