Learn how eliminating unnecessary clicks in the electronic health record (EHR) saved an hour of provider time every week.
In 2015, Daniel Dunham, MD was recruited to serve as chief of the Division of Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Dr Dunham continued to see his own patients in the clinic even after his promotion to Division Chief since it was important to experience firsthand the challenge his colleagues were facing. He was aware of the many workflow inefficiencies and hoped to alleviate some of this burden for his colleagues.
After logging on to the EHR, every time he attempted to send in an electronic prescription, a pop-up appeared requesting his username and password. He used the same EHR at his previous institution across town and was never asked to reenter his username and password for electronic prescriptions.
This requirement added about 600 extra clicks and keystrokes per day per physician, correlating with approximately 10 minutes of extra work per day. This added up to 1 hour per physician per week, or over 1 full week per year. Additionally, it was both a distraction and a frustration to the physician workflow.
Developing the Intervention
Recognizing this waste of physician time, Dr Dunham set out to change this login requirement. It took some time to identify the appropriate decision-makers within the EHR team at his institution, but once he did, he made the simple case that this practice was a clear waste of time. The requirement to reenter username and password each time an electronic prescription was sent in was eliminated within 2 days.
“I was new to Epic and just thought this was what I had to do. I was so appreciative that Dr Dunham saved me 600 clicks a day and an hour a week so that I could get back to real patient care and take home less work. This Division Chief had my back!” — Marie T Brown, MD
This simple change saved an estimated 1600 physician-hours per year in his division alone. As the new division chief, Dr Dunham was pleased to make such a meaningful impact so quickly and at zero cost.
Rush University Medical Center is a multispecialty academic medical center located in Chicago, IL. Its Division of Internal Medicine oversees 11 clinics with over 40 providers and 100 000 patient encounters each year.