How to optimize the EHR & improve physician workflows from Rush's CMIO Dr. Brian Patty

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Brian Patty, MD, chief medical information officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, discusses the importance of optimizing EHR and the technology his hospital is developing to involve patients more with their health.

Responses are lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: How has your role as CMIO evolved over the past two to three years? How have your responsibilities changed since you took on the role?

Brian Patty: My first CMIO roles in 2002 and 2005 were primarily focused on designing order sets for [computer physician order entry] and convincing physicians to use CPOE. Meaningful Use changed the focus to utilizing all aspects of the EHR, aligning the EHR with quality initiatives and getting physician and nursing workflows completely off paper. About the same time, I began to focus more of my time on aligning the EHR with the strategic initiatives of the organization. Today, my focus is primarily strategic.

Q: What do you consider your No. 1 priority as CMIO? How do you ensure you're successful?

BP: Optimizing the EHR to better align with organizational strategic initiatives. I ensure success by meeting with strategy leaders and understanding their goals and their pain points, then designing solutions where the EHR can help meet those goals and minimize the pain points.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you're facing as CMIO? What keeps you up at night?

BP: Optimizing physician workflows to improve efficiency and allow physicians to spend more time with patients while they are at work and more time with their families when they are at home.

Q: Which apps and technologies do you find most helpful, and which do you think will be passing fads?

BP: My team uses a lot of analytics tools to help understand the current situation and future possibilities, so we know we are attacking the right problems. We are designing patient-facing apps and solutions to help the patient understand and take more control of their heath.

To learn more about clinical informatics and health IT, register for the Becker's Hospital Review 2nd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership Conference May 2-4, 2019 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register.

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