EHR intervention teams may help reduce clinician burnout, study finds

A team-based intervention approach to improve EHR use and efficiency may help alleviate burdens that physicians report feeling when dealing with computer-based clerical work, according to a recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth researchers developed a two-week "Sprints" EHR intervention, which was led by an 11-member team trained to help clinic staff make the EHR more user friendly. The team comprised one project manager, one physician informaticist, one nurse informaticist, four EHR analysts and four trainers.

Sprints interventions had three main components: train clinicians to use EHR features more efficiently, redesign the clinic's multidisciplinary workflow and create new specialty-specific EHR tools. Sprints are completed as a two-week process.

Sprints were conducted at six UCHealth clinics between January 2016 and July 2017. Sprints leaders met with clinic officials 90, 60- and 30-days pre-Sprints intervention to identify EHR frustrations. Clinicians participating in Sprints interventions were surveyed on their EHR satisfaction pre- and post-intervention on a net promoter scale ranging from -100 at the worst to +100 at the best.

Researchers reported the results of clinicians' surveys from six clinics. Clinician satisfaction with the EHR increased from -15 pre-Sprints intervention to +12 post intervention. The percentage of clinicians who endorsed burnout prior to the intervention decreased from 39 percent to 34 percent after the intervention.

While study authors concluded that Sprints interventions can help improve clinicians' EHR use, they also recognized various limitations of the study, including lack of a standardized instrument to measure EHR user experience and the Sprints' intervention evolution at each clinic, thus resulting in slightly different experiences for each physician.

To access the full report, click here.

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