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According to a recent study by the Annals of Family Medicine, clinicians spend nearly 90 minutes in their Electronic Health Records (EHRs) after hours at home, and this is sometimes referred to as working during pajama time.
Contrary to popular belief, patient care doesn’t end with the patient leaving the room post-diagnosis or treatment. Documentation of patient information in EHRs is a crucial task when it comes to patient care, and with the increase in complexity of EHR use, clinicians have felt the need to take this task of documentation home. Now the task of completing EHR documentation at home after work could be risky, for it causes fatigue and affects effectiveness.
As a leader who wishes to improve EHR usability for clinicians, this is something that requires your attention because ignorance can lead to difficult situations like clinician burnout.
This article will help you understand,
- Why Spending Pajama Time on EHRs Could Be a Problem
- Tips to Cut Down Pajama Time for Clinicians
- How Jeeves Helps Clinicians Win Back Pajama Time
Why Spending Pajama Time on EHRs Could Be a Problem
One of the key reasons for introducing an EHR is to ease the provision of care and improve its quality. However, with the usability challenges, it is quite the opposite that has become a reality.
If you had to show the following list of EHR challenges to your clinicians, they are certainly going to nod their heads to it:
- The inability of the interface to be intuitive
- The complexities caused by multiple features
- The burdensome data entry requirements
- The lack of support when a difficulty arrises
When too much time is invested in EHR documentation, especially after working hours, it causes frustration initially, leads to fatigue next, and, in extreme cases, ends up in clinician burnout. This affects the clinician’s ability to provide improved patient care. Not just this, increased hours of documentation bring down overall efficiency and quality of work, which means the chances of documentation errors are quite high. Documentation errors can be life-threatening, for patient records determine the patient care to be provided in the present and the future, and even the smallest of errors could have an ever-lasting impact.
All of this hampers the clinician’s ability, brings down their faith in health IT as means to improve care, and, most importantly, adds to the health system’s costs owing to the inefficient use of health IT.
Tips to Cut Down Pajama Time for Clinicians
If you wish to bring down the complexity of using an EHR and make things easy for your clinicians, then here are a few things you need to follow:
Simplify documentation with better training
One of the best ways to beat any kind of challenge is to be prepared for it because being prepared helps you face it better. This is very true for EHR usability because the right training guides your clinicians in every step of dealing with an EHR. One key consideration to be made here is that the training must be curated in such a way that it is as close as possible to the actual scenario the clinicians would be facing in reality.
Now jumping into how this would help clinicians bring down their pajama time; as the clinicians are better trained to use EHRs, especially post an upgrade (because that is the one area where the provision of training is often neglected), they are quickly able to accomplish documentation without having to scratch their heads, figuring out what must be done. This definitely can save them time.
Structure problem-based templates for documentation
Having a standardized template not only makes the job of documentation easy but also aids better communication between physicians, nurses, and other care providers. Such templates work great when they are addressed to specific problems because they can guide clinicians for a particular problem, help them figure out a solution, get the job done and save a lot of time. Ongoing best practice training on how to customize templates is popular and well-received by clinicians.
Consider having team-based care
If you possess the ability to make an additional investment, then team-based care could certainly be a choice to bring down the pajama time and improve patient care. The task of EHR documentation can be shared strategically by including additional resources in the form of medical assistants or scribes who can take up the clerical work for clinicians after each patient visit. This brings in the sense of shared responsibility and brings down the overall burden of clinicians.
Bring down the stress with wider monitor screens
Wider monitor screens? You may wonder if something like this would make a difference. Atrius Health, the largest nonprofit, independent medical group in the Northeast, has tested this out and benefited from it.
With wider monitor screens, Atrius was able to reduce the number of monitor clicks per encounter and went to the extent of reducing its annual clicks by 50M, thereby helping clinicians save time and going one step further to win clinician satisfaction.
How Jeeves Helps Clinicians Win Back Pajama Time
What could possibly be the primary reason for EHR documentation being continued even after clinicians’ working hours?
The difficulties with EHR usage, you may exclaim! However, that is half the issue. Clinicians aren’t able to match the tools’ capabilities to the most optimum EHR workflow, and this is what is causing the delay in the completion of tasks. This is exactly what you must address.
And here’s how you can do that.
Every time your clinician is stuck in the workflow or, to be even more specific, say, finding it difficult to quickly notate the encounter, they need to be supported with a content resource that quickly tells them how something should optimally be done. Now, how do you make sure your clinician finds this content resource?
Well, you can leave that to Jeeves. Jeeves is a Just-in-time (JIT) healthcare application support tool that can help clinicians find support content resources in the moment of need. Jeeves ensures that your clinicians find the right content resource to solve their specific needs, helps with quick comprehension of the content, and assists with getting the job done even quicker.
As a growing health system, you are bound to have virtual training resources in the form of tip sheets or videos, and these could be an excellent aid for clinicians to answer workflow questions, and Jeeves can help you effortlessly get these resources to your clinicians. What’s even better is that with each upgrade, you are required to create new resources, and Jeeves can help accomplish this as well with its ‘Video Recorder’ feature. This feature helps you create microlearning videos smoothly and swiftly and ensures that you effortlessly communicate improvements and changes to your clinicians.
Jumping back into cutting down pajama time, the ways in which Jeeves could save time for clinicians are:
- Jeeves is deeply integrated with Epic, which means that it is embedded within it, and your clinicians need not go outside of Epic to find answers to any questions that arise in the workflow
- Jeeves uses AI to provide your clinicians with best practice resources for any search question; this means they’ll find just the right support content quicker and complete their workflow tasks even quicker
With a tool like Jeeves, it isn’t just about cutting down your clinicians’ pajama time. It is rather about envisioning the bigger picture of improving EHR usability. When support is provided at the moment of need, it makes the job so much easier and improves the quality of work. It ensures a reduction in any kind of additional costs and improves clinician satisfaction, clearly a win-win for everyone.
Curious to know more? Click here to find out everything you need to know about Jeeves.