KLAS started the Arch Collaborative in 2016 with the goal to gather feedback on the EHR from the clinician users. We started by measuring the satisfaction of physicians, but it didn’t take long for us to realize that we needed to broaden the reach of our research.
After the 2018 Arch Collaborative Learning Summit, one of our Provider Success Managers was asked what he had taken from the summit. He said, “I think we will need to focus more on nurses in the future. I saw a lot of energy and heard a lot of discussions about how healthcare organizations can help their nurses and focus on the nursing experience in the EHR.”
He was absolutely right. Collaborative members were eager to hear the voices of their nurses. After all, while physicians may make most of the key decisions that show up in the EMR, they aren’t the only ones with skin in the game. In fact, some estimate that 75 percent of chart use can be attributed to nurses.
After analyzing feedback from almost 30,000 nurses, KLAS has published an Arch Collaborative impact report focusing on “The Nurse EHR Experience.” I’d like to share a few key points from the report.
Does it surprise you that, on average, nurses are much more satisfied with their EHRs than physicians are? This was true across every area measured in the Arch Collaborative. While that alone was encouraging to learn, KLAS knew that provider organizations would want and need to know a few specifics.
Which areas have the largest gaps between physicians’ and nurses’ opinions? What are nurses the very happiest about? And what do the nurses’ satisfaction scores imply about the nurses and their EHRs?
Several of the survey questions to which nurses responded the most positively had to do with patient care. In other words, most nurse participants in the Collaborative agree that the EHR directly and indirectly benefits patients.
This fact is a little counterintuitive, and therefore, very impressive. Because nurses spend the most time using the EHR, it may keep them away from patients even more than it does with doctors. But despite this decreased face time, most nurses still believe that the EHR is beneficial for patients.
KLAS researchers have heard many nurses speak enthusiastically about their departments’ teamwork and positive attitudes toward change. The results of the Collaborative survey align well with these stories; more than 75 percent of nurses surveyed believe they deliver well as the end users of the EHR. Fewer nurses believe that their EHR vendors, internal leaders, and IT teams deliver well.
Apparently, nurses feel accountable for how well they use the EHR. This kind of attitude, whether belonging to a nurse or a physician, is very likely to lead to more positive outcomes and increased patient safety.
Nurses have been called the glue of healthcare. They have the most contact with patients and the most contact with the EHR. For these reasons and more, nurses have a massive amount to offer to the healthcare industry’s quest to improve the tools used and the care given.
Understanding nurses’ high EHR satisfaction rates is a great jumping-off point. By learning how nurses have been so successful, healthcare organizations will be more able to improve the EHR experience for all users.
I’m confident that Arch Collaborative members who measure and really listen to the voice of their nurses will gain invaluable insights. I know KLAS already has. To learn more from the nurses who have already taken the Collaborative survey, read the report here.