“No one told me about that…”
Sound familiar? Like that of rotary dialing and the corded telephone, this overused expression is working its way into extinction at Compass Medical P.C. through ‘predictable over-communication.’
Compass Medical, a physician-owned organization providing multi-specialty services to patients of all ages across six locations, has grown over the past 20 years to become one of the top healthcare providers south of Boston.
Our story of change starts in 2015, where two provider-facing technical tools were adopted organizationally. First, Compass Medical switched to a new EMR in March. Fast forward to September, we presented the option for providers to utilize voice recognition software.
These two large projects rolled out in a short period of time. If I’m being honest, the EMR implementation was a detailed, all-encompassing project plan that we carefully rolled out from start to finish (a 3-plus-year labor of love), whereas, the initial (yes, initial) voice recognition software approach was delivered to 44 providers in a more rustic “plug and play” format. Our goal with this initial approach was to help alleviate provider clicking pain points while they get acclimated to the new EMR design.
Anecdotally, we could say we successfully rolled out the EMR implementation and not so successfully rolled out the voice recognition tool. However, in order to measure provider perception, we partnered with an organization that developed a furnished, customizable and measurable survey. We incorporated the question, “What is your overall satisfaction with the EMR tools and organizational leadership” into our provider EMR satisfaction survey, which was collated this past winter. The results uncovered two interesting findings: a high level of trust (98th percentile) in Compass Medical’s EMR Leadership and an overall dissatisfaction with the voice recognition tool.
Trust in Leadership
The overwhelming level of trust from providers validated our evolving predictable communication methodology, which began in 2015, was in fact working. Once we were LIVE on the new EMR, we formed an internal ‘Change Control Board Committee’ (CCB), which consisted of multi-disciplinary team members to ensure our goal of ‘predictable over-communication.’ This committee oversees, reviews, tests, and implements recommended changes within the production of the EHR platform, assures technical solvency, and strives to mitigate unintended consequences to platform changes.
In order to achieve this, the CCB team meets biweekly to review requested changes submitted by any of our end users, committees, or departments. Once they are reviewed and approved, the plan for scheduling is made in a “Today plus 2-week window,” which allows us to communicate these modifications organizationally. We assemble super users for a meeting and conduct our biweekly manager go-to meeting, along with distributing an EMR e-newsletter.
Dissatisfaction with Voice Recognition
Now, the results from the voice recognition experience didn’t come as a surprise, as we admittedly delivered a tool without structured training. We faced other obstacles when we identified the limitations of the tool’s ability to work at a high level of accuracy within our virtual desktop environment. Once we learned of an innovative cloud-based voice recognition tool, we recruited four providers to be part of an ‘alpha testing’ group, which included dedicated vendor training. Feedback from the alpha group after a month was astonishing; all four providers reported “more precise, faster and noticeable improvements with their overall charting experience.”
Our business decision to move forward with transitioning all existing voice recognition users to this new vendor was solidified. Word of mouth on the “provider alpha-tested verified” pilot traveled rather quickly, which made socializing the logistical change rather easy. Our first communication was to all existing providers and site managers to ensure they wanted to continue with the new product. Because some were so frustrated with the old product, we wanted to be sure they were committed to the change. For this deliverable, we required all users to attend in-person vendor product training.
Based on the success of that initiative, Compass Medical implemented the “wave of the next generation hands-free documentation,” which encompasses these same strategic planning, predicting and preventing elements. After offering 18 time slots across 5 different locations for our vendor/provider 2-hour training, we successful trained more than 55 providers.
In conclusion, we have happy providers reporting this product is “easy to use” and “10 times better.” And the difference was in over-communicating.
This piece was written by Christine Machado, EHR and Systems Manager at Compass Medical, a physician-owned organization providing multi-specialty services to patients in the greater Boston area.