A Novel Interdisciplinary Iterative Approach for Optimizing the Electronic Health Record to Improve Perioperative Efficiency

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OBJECTIVE: We present a holistic perioperative optimization approach led by a CI team with the goal to optimize the workflow within our EHR, improve operative room metrics and user satisfaction. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: The EHR has become integral to perioperative care. Many approaches are utilized to improve performance including systems-based approaches, process redesign, lean methodology, checklists, root cause analysis, and parallel processing. Although most reports describe strategies improving day or surgery productivity, few include perioperative interventions to improve efficiencies. METHODS: An interdisciplinary CI team consisting of clinicians, informatics specialists, and analysts spent 6 weeks assessing users and optimizing all perioperative areas (scheduling, day of surgery, postop discharge/admission). Elbow-to-elbow retraining and simultaneous content development was performed utilizing an Agile workflow process optimization with the Scrum framework. This iterative approach averaged 1 week from build to change implementation. Pre/post optimization surveys were sent. RESULTS: Two hundred forty-two perioperative enhancements were completed. While most impacted documentation, all areas were enhanced including billing, reporting, registration, device integration, scheduling, central supply, and so on. FCOTS improved from <70% to >85% and total delay was halved. These parameters were consistently sustained for over 1 year after the 6-week optimization. While only 5% of pre-optimization users agreed to proficiency in the EHR system, this improved to 70% post-optimization. Furthermore, EHR confidence and acceptance improved from 40% to 90%. CONCLUSIONS: To improve workflow efficiency, all who contribute to the perioperative process must be assessed. This IT driven initiative resulted in improved FCOTS, perioperative workflows, and user satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-675
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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