The healthcare industry has experienced significant change over the years, with the advent of electronic health records (EHR) being one of the most impactful. EHR systems have become a vital tool for healthcare providers; they help to manage patient information, improve care quality, and enhance clinical outcomes. However, as the volume of data captured by EHR systems continues to grow, so does the need for effective EHR analytics tools. Phrase Health is one such tool that is helping hospitals to tackle three significant challenges they face today: clinical variation, clinician inefficiency, and analytics debt. But you don’t have to take it from us. Let’s take a look at what providers are saying.
Whenever challenges in healthcare are discussed, clinical variation comes up. It’s one of the most prevalent obstacles today. This challenge describes circumstances in which there is a difference in the way care is delivered to patients, even when they have similar conditions. Clinical variation can lead to increased costs, decreased quality of care, and poor clinical outcomes.
Clinical variation can come up for a variety of reasons, but a common one is provider burden. Just take a look at this quote from a Phrase Health user who was reviewing EHR data recently:
"I was reviewing document templates and noticed one of my hospitalist colleagues had written a ridiculous amount of discharge notes this past month, so I reached out to check in to see if she's okay. She responded thankfully saying it's been a tough month but she appreciated someone reaching out. I've reached out to the head of physician well-being about systematically incorporating this strategy into our wellness initiative."
The simple truth is that today’s clinicians are overburdened. Making their workloads visible through systemic analysis can bolster wellness initiatives and enable efforts that make them feel more valued.
Another probable cause of clinical variation is misfiring or broken clinical decision support (CDS) alerts in the EHR. Clinicians rely on CDS interventions to improve efficiency of care delivery and ensure enacted protocols align with current best practices as well as the latest research. But without systematic analysis, CDS misfires or missing alerts can cause confusion, disruption of workflow, or in the worst cases, delivery of lower quality care. As one of our Phrase Health platform users put it: “We would never have been able to find that on our own (breakage identification).”
CDS support is only as reliable as the alerts that deliver the guidance. Quality teams need tools for monitoring builds and catching errors before they impact care.
Clinician inefficiency is another significant challenge that hospitals face today. This challenge arises when clinicians spend excessive amounts of time on administrative tasks, leading to burnout and reduced productivity. It’s a tough one for health systems to tackle - not because they’re complacent about inefficiencies or careless with a provider’s allocated time - but because they first have to identify precisely where their existing workflows go wrong. Only then can workflow modifications address the issue.
One user’s reaction to Phrase Health’s ability to quickly identify cranky best practices alert (BPA) comments exemplifies the situation perfectly: “Um WOW! That sure makes it faster to find the cranky comments. I can tell in 30 seconds that the nurses do not understand this BPA. Thank you for getting this (cranky comments) turned on so quickly! This will be sooooo helpful!"
With those fast, efficient insights, the team could quickly address issues with the exact alerts that were leading to the inefficiency and resulting challenges. Fixing the workflow improves efficiency in care delivery and reduces the time that health systems’ clinicians spend on administrative tasks. Imagine what would be possible if the sources of inefficiency were always so easy to spot. They can be, with the right tools.
The last challenge we’ll review today is the third one we hear commonly discussed: analytics debt. This challenge arises when hospitals are unable to effectively analyze available data and return insights to the consuming teams in a timely manner either because the volume of data and/or requests is too great or because the bandwidth of the team conducting the analysis is too constrained. Usually it’s a combination of both. Bottom line, quality and informatics teams are often left without the insights they need.
This is another area of strife that the right technology can relieve. This Phrase Health user puts it well: “Before Phrase Health, there was no internal way of identifying whether [these tools] were being used - we had to ask the EMR team for this and it would take weeks to receive.” Another Phrase Health user said separately, “It only improves our work. It helps give concrete data to our intuition.” It’s the kind of feedback we love to hear.
Healthcare is a rapidly evolving industry. The challenges faced by hospitals and healthcare providers are constantly changing and yet from our purview, the similarities are glaring: clinical variation, clinician inefficiency, and analytics debt are chart-toppers when it comes to challenges stressing today’s organizations.
With the emergence of powerful EHR analytics tools like Phrase Health, hospitals now have the ability to tackle these challenges head-on. By leveraging the insights and data provided by these tools, hospitals can optimize their clinical workflows, reduce unnecessary variations in care, and streamline their operations to achieve greater efficiency and better patient outcomes. With the ongoing advancements in technology, it is evident that EHR analytics tools will continue to play a critical role in driving positive changes in the healthcare industry. And that, perhaps, is why an email to our team was recently signed, “I love Phrase Health and am happy to tell anyone who will listen how much I love it.”
Want to learn more about Phrase Health or share your story? Reach us at email@example.com.