April 30, 2015 – As an IT leader, you are the most influential decision maker in your organization when it comes to IT solutions. Yet paradoxically, you may also feel the furthest away from the end users who are utilizing your solutions. What does this mean? Often, this translates to a feedback lag – by the time you hear about the problems your end users are experiencing in clinical environments, the issues have escalated and are already seriously impacting workflow, clinical care, and patient satisfaction.
So, how do you proactively manage the end user experience and avoid clinician frustration and lost revenue? It’s simple: by recognizing poor end user issues before they blow up in your face. Don’t wait for a crisis during EMR implementation or a HIPAA violation to investigate.
Here are four key indicators of a poor end user experience to watch out for:
1. Your physicians won’t stop talking about it.
Your clinical team members are motivated by providing excellent patient care, and the more time they spend navigating through inefficient virtual environments, the more frustrated they get. The most vocal group is most likely your physicians, many of whom feel mandated to use computers and may not be technologically savvy. More screen time means less patient time, and less revenue. If you’re hearing complaints and frustrations from your physicians, it’s time to address the issue.
2. It’s taking more time to see fewer patients.
If your healthcare system end users are using kiosk devices with generic windows logons or are doing a full windows login every time they access a clinical device, it’s taking them more time to access – and navigate – their critical applications. Are your clinicians constantly on the phone with field services technicians customizing endpoints and trouble-shooting? Then their workflow isn’t optimized. This translates to more screen time and less touch time with fewer patients. This has a direct impact on patient satisfaction, discharge times, and, ultimately, your revenue.
3. Physician referrals are off, and you can’t figure out why.
Physicians will refer patients to hospitals and providers that make it easy for them to do so. If working within your Health System is more time consuming and complex than at your competitor’s Health System, the physician is going to refer their patients where they can do their work in the least amount of time and with the least amount of complexity. It’s that simple.
4. Patient satisfaction scores are down.
Too much time spent accessing or working in front of a computer means that patient wait times are longer across the board – from waiting room to exam room – which leads to frustration and dissatisfaction. The less one-on-one time patients have in their healthcare experience, the less connected they feel. Your reputation as a patient-focused provider is negatively affected, and this impression can easily be attributed to your entire health system. If your patient satisfaction surveys have shifted, take notice.
The above mentioned red flags are clear indicators that your clinical workstation infrastructure is not efficient or effective, and the effects can trickle down through every level of your organization. Most importantly, consider the benefits of recognizing poor end user issues before they blow up: motivated physicians, efficient clinical care, faster discharge times, consistent referrals, increased patient census and revenue, and a reputation for the highest standard in state-of-the-art patient care.