Optimizing electronic health records for clinical documentation can generate a return on investment from multiple sources, though they are often overlooked and can vary from clinician perception and patient perception to actual cost savings.
Typically improvements with clinician satisfaction scores are realized when they see their documentation flows streamlined. Realizing their screen tabbing is more efficient and logical and realizing the number of pages to tab into in order to document is typically a positive experience.
Measuring EHR Optimization ROI
True ROI is measured in the time it takes to complete a documentation phase. When you consider a “click” has a time measure, and that time measure is added to every patient, every time the documentation is required, every day, then the labor time across the enterprise becomes measurable.
In one example, optimization of clinical documentation resulted in a savings of more than 2,500 “clicks.” When that number was given a time value of a single second per click and that time was applied to the patient volume annually, the realization of labor shift from documentation to direct patient care was significant.
Clinicians are well aware when they are inputting data simply for the sake of inputting data over and over again. This is frustrating for them as their fundamental responsibility of delivering care to their patient is compromised with time constraints. Optimization is viewed in positive fashion by clinical staff as an effort by IT or department informatics to shift time to delivering patient care.