AMA Discuss Ways to Optimize EHR Functionality

Key stakeholders, physicians discuss EHR usability and optimization, rules for releasing test results
Key stakeholders, physicians discuss EHR usability and optimization, rules for releasing test results

HealthDay News — Key stakeholders and physicians discussed electronic health record (EHR) usability and optimization in the American Medical Association Running Your Practice Community.

The discussion was led by panelists with a variety of medical backgrounds and covered issues including the impact of implementation decisions on EHR usability, EHR optimization, and rules for releasing test results to patients. 

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In terms of usability, the use of third-party consultation was raised, with consultants often engaged to help with configuration and training relating to EHR use, resulting in differently configured tools across the same underlying EHR product; other health systems invest in informatics teams in order to create a best-practice workflow for each specialty. Strategies for EHR optimization vary between EHR systems and within organizations; use of shadowing may be promising. In addition, there is hope that vendors will continue to improve system usability, as currently, clinical staff need to assist with charting and pending orders or do some of the EHR work as part of an advanced team-based care model.

In terms of releasing test results, some practices released lab results immediately when complete, which has increased patient satisfaction. Despite concerns, most practices seem to agree that immediate release is beneficial, although not all practices have been able to gain consensus for immediate release.

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