MU Health Care's 'EMR happy hours' help address documentation, workflow issues

Once a month, University of Missouri Health at Columbia clinicians attend an "EMR happy hour" session to troubleshoot issues regarding charting, documentation and ordering within the EMR, according to a study published in Annals of Family Medicine.

The hour-long sessions are designed to focus on minimal-effort, yet highly effective, solutions that can be achieved quickly by peer-to-peer collaborations instead of consulting with the vendor, according to the report. The sessions are held among the family medicine department at MU Health Care, which uses a Cerner EMR system.

Each session typically comprises three to 10 physicians in attendance, who are encouraged to bring a laptop to practice new skills in real time. A member of the EMR training staff as well as one to three clinical faculty members usually facilitates the session to achieve a small teacher-to-student ratio. Each meeting is tailored to address the participating clinicians' needs and questions, which define the agenda for the session.

The study authors concluded that after surveying EMR happy hour participants, peer support was consistently valued. "One physician responded, 'Collegial. Get to talk with others in the same situation as me,'" the study authors wrote. "Another states, 'Excellent opportunity to learn new EMR tricks, work-arounds, strategies to make life easier. Good place to share EMR frustrations and see if others have a different system.'"

To access the full report, click here.

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