The Value of Collaborating with Customers in EMR Optimization

Posted on September 27, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the biggest challenges I see in healthcare IT is that the knowledge on how to get value out of EHR and other health IT is not evenly distributed. One healthcare organization that figures out how to optimize their EHR system for maximum benefit doesn’t have the opportunity to share that knowledge with other organizations across the country. Plus, even an organization that has optimized their EHR solution in one specific area is still missing optimization benefits in other areas.

Sharing optimization best practices is a massive problem that needs to be solved if we’re going to finally optimize EHR and other health IT systems to benefit both healthcare organizations and patients.

While some healthcare organizations are competitive and don’t want to share best practices, I’ve found that most hospitals and health systems are happy to share their EHR and health IT practices with their peers across the country. Healthcare is so regional and most people doing the optimization work want to benefit patients regardless of other competitive pressures.

Why then don’t healthcare organizations share if in fact most of them want to share their insights and experiences? The challenge is that most professionals don’t see any easy way for them to collaborate and share with their colleagues.

I recently saw where Galen Healthcare Solutions took this problem head-on as they gathered together a focused group of MEDITECH users in a project they called Claire[IT]. Check out this webinar on Claire[IT] to learn more about how Galen Healthcare Solutions involved their users to create enginu[IT]y.

Out of this user focus group they produced a package of MEDITECH rules and best practices which could be implemented by any MEDITECH user. What makes this package special is that it wasn’t just one person’s best thinking but Galen brought together a wide variety of end users to each contribute their best practices and insights into the MEDITECH rules they created. I love that one participant in the user focus group said “I am the only one in my organization that loves MEDITECH rules. It was great to finally be part of a group of other people as passionate as me about rules.”

This is the type of collaboration we need to see happening in healthcare IT and EHR for us to receive all the benefits technology can provide. Plus, now a company like Galen Healthcare Solutions can package up this knowledge and EMR optimization best practices and share it with all of the other MEDITECH users out there. This MEDITECH EHR rules knowledge doesn’t have to be confined to one organization.

The problem is that this type of focus group is really targeted and includes a lot of minutiae that only those that are deep in these systems will appreciate. These aren’t conversations that casually happen at an event like HIMSS. However, when you put the right EHR users together it’s like magic and the sharing and collaboration happens naturally. I love that Galen Healthcare Solutions called their webinar “Operation #NerdyWork.” Talking over MEDITECH rules really is #NerdyWork, but it’s also essential work if you want to truly get the most out of your MEDITECH EHR. The same is true for all the other EHR vendors. There’s a lot of #NerdyWork required to optimize them.

Props to Galen Healthcare Solutions for showing us one way EMR end users can collaborate together to share best practices and provide everyone with a better solution than if they’d done the EMR optimization alone. Now we just need to scale up this collaboration and sharing so that every EMR in every healthcare organization is working in the most optimized way possible.

Note: Galen Healthcare Solutions is a sponsor of Healthcare Scene and the EMR Clinical Optimization Series of blog posts.