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Smart EHR Design Saves Clinicians 7,000 Hours

HonorHealth simplified clinician workflows and saw daily time savings add up

HonorHealth in Arizona started 2020 with a goal to make life simpler for its clinicians, so they kicked off a “20/20 Vision” program to boost EHR efficiency. Small changes have resulted in big improvements: throughout their perioperative departments, HonorHealth predicts that clinicians could save 10 million clicks and 7,000 hours in a year.

“Our project to reduce clicks during pre-admission testing last year was a success, so we replicated the effort this year for a ‘spring-cleaning’ project in our pre-op, OR, and PACU departments,” said Riana Kielly, VP of Surgical and Imaging Services.

To improve peri-op documentation for nurses, for example, HonorHealth replaced several note templates they had created over the years with more flexible ones that prioritize the most important information. Nurses now save between one and three minutes of charting time per patient. Peri-op nurses can also order COVID-19 testing for multiple patients at once, saving time reordering a patient’s test if an appointment is changed.

HonorHealth expects these small gains in efficiency to save peri-op nurses thousands of hours and millions of clicks in the next year.

“We had incredible results with the collaboration and input of frontline coordinators and staff,” Kielly said.

Imaging schedulers at HonorHealth saw similar time savings. By using decision trees in Epic that guide them through patient phone calls, they’re saving 31 seconds per phone call—or 129 hours each month.

Time is such a valuable resource for our clinicians,” said Candice Larson, HonorHealth’s CNIO. “In collaboration with our frontline staff and executive leadership support, the project team pared down essential data entry requirements to support patient care. Giving time back to staff truly makes a difference in helping them continue to find joy in their work.”

Read more about a similar initiative to maximize clinician efficiency at Hawai’i Pacific Health.