You made the EHR investment, built the system and completed a successful go-live. But the work is not done yet. Unfortunately, some of the decisions made during implementation may not be the best choices for your system as you move forward. User complaints are often a sign that new approaches are necessary to overcome concerns, improve user satisfaction and increase adoption.

If your goal is to optimize your technology investment, you’ll need a strategy. The key to successful optimization is to act early and optimize quickly. A lot of organizational friction can be mitigated through additional training and small modifications to the system build. Here are some of the questions you’ll need to answer in order to develop an optimization strategy.

Have we improved performance?

How has your implementation helped with the coordination of care and continuum strategies? Are discharge processes more efficient, medication reconciliation more compliant and patient education more robust? Understanding what’s going well can be just as informative and important as what’s going wrong.

What do the adoption statistics say?

Hopefully, measurement was included in the original go-live planning and can provide quantitative insights into how things are going. If measurement was not included, it should be addressed in an optimization strategy for tracking purposes. What you measure is ultimately what gets improved because the numbers help show why optimization is needed.

What are your goals?

It is important to stop and evaluate whether you’ve met your goals for go-live. Most importantly, have you achieved your patient safety and quality improvement goals? If not, what needs to be adjusted to get there? If so, what’s the next goal your organization can set for optimization?

Once your go-live goals have been evaluated and optimization goals are set, start thinking about how you can measure your progress. What adoption statistics will allow you to show success?

What stakeholders need to be involved?

Everyone in your organization is going to believe that their feedback is the most important. But in order to truly optimize and find efficiencies, it’s important to understand the broad spectrum of stakeholders and figure out who needs to be involved in deciding priorities.

Where should we focus our optimization activities?

With feedback coming from all directions, it’s important to let your goals guide the optimization strategy. Where do point of care, inpatient charting and interoperability fall on the priority list?

Ultimately, optimizing an EHR system helps your business run more efficiently and improves patient care. By collecting statistics and measuring incremental success, your healthcare organization can understand what optimizations move the needle and will allow you to narrow your focus and prioritize better.

These five questions can certainly help frame your optimization strategy, but they are ultimately the tip of the iceberg. Need more guidance on how to navigate EHR optimizations? Contact us to collaborate on your next EHR improvement project.