The EHR exclusive: Expert tips to optimize your EHR investment and streamline clinical workflows

Expert insights on EHR optimization with Christina Berg, RN MHA, Imprivata

It’s no secret that electronic health record (EHR) systems are costly investments. They’re worth it, of course, because they centralize delivery of care. But they can also impede processes and create friction if clinical workflows are clunky and frustrating. This can lead to challenges for clinicians relying on the EHR and IT teams managing these systems.

But overcoming these challenges is possible with the right strategy for the workflow. To maximize your EHR investment and improve the clinical experience, here are a few key tips from industry experts with experience improving the EHR for both clinicians and IT and security teams.

I recently sat down with Bo Miller, Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant at St. Charles Medical Center, and Michael Mulcahy, IT Virtualization Engineer at University Hospitals Cleveland, and they had this advice to offer.

  1. “Try to limit the possibility of the user having to manage multiple passwords. The less clicks the better.”

    Organizations need to ensure that clinicians have the simplest workflows possible – it’s critical for efficient care delivery. By eliminating manual credential entry and clicks, healthcare organizations can streamline workflows which reduces clinical burnout and increases productivity – all in the name of better patient care.

  2. “Make sure you’re designing a workflow around mobile that’s conducive to a small screen, with quick access. If I’m standing around, I’d rather look at a full desktop and get all the information I need. Form and function need to match.”

    Giving clinicians the ability to access patient records and make updates directly at the bedside goes a long way towards providing seamless, efficient, and personalized care and maximizing the EHR. Just make sure that mobile devices are properly configured and personalized for each clinician based on their unique access needs. Always ensure mobile devices are there to help clinicians improve care, or else they can hinder it.

  3. “People are getting used to looking at their phone, having their face recognized, and getting access. It’s convenient and it works. People’s increased comfort with facial recognition can give you the opportunity to use it to make sure you have the correct patient.”

    One way to optimize your EHR and the data housed in it? By making sure the data that is entered is correct, and that clinicians can trust what they have access to. Patient misidentification is a substantial challenge, and it can lead to medical errors, duplicate and overlay records, and great financial costs. But by using facial recognition to positively identify patients, organizations can enhance data security, protect patient privacy, and reduce duplicate records.

  4. “When doing role-based identity management, keep it broad and keep it simple, and give them the tools the y need.”

    Identity governance and role-based access are powerful tools to ensure that people have the access they need when they need it – and, critically, to ensure that people don’t have any access they shouldn’t. When you implement your solutions and processes, just make sure not to back yourself into a corner. Keep things locked down for security reasons, but make sure clinicians have the tools they need to do their job.

While these four pieces of advice just scratch the surface of what an organization can do to optimize its EHR, it’s paramount to implement a strategic approach that prioritizes security, efficiency, and user adoption.

Three other pieces of advice from me? One, make sure your organization is providing fast and secure access, supporting critical authentication workflows, optimizing mobile applications, enhancing patient identification, and continuously improving your system. Two, make sure you engage with and involve clinicians as early in the process as possible – they’re the secret ingredient that can make or break your EHR optimization journey.

And three, join me for my upcoming webinar “Bridge IT resource constraints and streamline patient care” where you can hear from practitioners directly and learn more about maximizing your EHR investment and empowering your team with expert services. Make sure you register today to save your seat.

Christina Berg, RN MHA, is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Imprivata. To learn more about Imprivata, visit

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars