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Reducing Clicks, Saving Time with an Epic Refresh

Physicians and nurses at Hawai’i Pacific Health weigh in on ways to reduce administrative burden

Hawai’i Pacific Health created the Getting Rid of Stupid Stuff (GROSS) program to make sure the time their staff spends in Epic adds value to their work. They asked clinicians to submit ideas for unnecessary tasks that could be eliminated or processes that could be improved. As a result of implementing the suggested changes, they’ve saved over 1,700 nursing hours and removed 10 of the 12 most frequent alerts for physicians because they were simply being ignored.

“We adopted Epic more than 10 years ago, and since then we’ve made a number of additions and changes to meet various identified needs,” said Dr. Melinda Ashton, executive vice president and chief quality officer. “We can’t magically eliminate documentation required for billing and regulatory compliance, but we knew there were some things we could get rid of that were unnecessary.”

For example, they removed a requirement for nurses to document when they’d completed patient hourly rounding. Though designed with good intentions, they found that the result was rote clicking that didn’t always accurately capture the care provided. By eliminating this single click, they saved over 1,700 nursing hours each month across their four hospitals.

“The GROSS program has been embraced throughout our organization,” Ashton said. “The quick wins that come from acknowledging and improving our daily work do matter.”

Learn more about Hawai’i Pacific Health’s program in the New England Journal of Medicine. Epic community members can also listen to Ashton’s UGM presentation on GROSS on the UserWeb.