HIMSS17 TOOK PLACE IN ORLANDO, FL
February 19-23, 2017
by Margaret Schulte, consultant, HIMSS EHR Value Suite Collection
Many researchers agree that there is a link between patient satisfaction and outcomes of care. Research findings have weighed in heavily in support of this link, so much so that payers have included patient satisfaction measures in their reimbursement formulae. Providers have, in response, turned increased attention to improving patient satisfaction. Many providers have, for example, assigned “the patient experience” to the responsibility of an individual in top management, and it is common for patients to receive survey questionnaires when they leave the hospital or other clinical visit.
Closely tied to patient satisfaction is the satisfaction of physicians and staff. If they are unhappy, they will transmit that unhappiness into the environment of patient care and even, at times, at the bedside. The electronic health record (EHR) has helped to improve satisfaction among those in the care environment by saving time, increasing confidence in decisions, improving teamwork, and more.
In medical practices, physicians and staff have reported that:
Similarly, hospitals and health systems report numerous ways in which patients, physicians and staff are more satisfied following the implementation and adoption of an EHR. For example:
The HIMSS EHR Value Suite Collection assembles examples of health IT value, according to the STEPS model, with the first S representing “satisfaction.” This criterion of satisfaction encompasses patient satisfaction and reflects values such as improved HCAHPS survey data, reduced patient wait times, and other factors of value to patients. Satisfaction also includes values related to physicians, other clinicians and staff who are an important factor in patient satisfaction and in the overall operation of the organization. To date, over 1,000 value statements about specific points of improved satisfaction due to the implementation of an EHR have been included in the EHR Value Suite Collection.
Bottom line, the EHR can be a key factor in improving the satisfaction of both patients and the clinicians and staff involved in their care. Satisfaction is an important part of the quality of any healthcare enterprise, leading to improved outcomes, both clinical and financial.