Why Doctors Should be Included in IT Decision-Making

Involving physicians with IT decisions helped one health system reduce avoidable admissions by $2.9 million and contributed to greater doctor satisfaction, according to Healthcare IT News

At Lafayette General Health in Lafayette, La., physician satisfaction stood at 1%, but this was increased to 58% by a years-long project, the publication writes.

How IT Changes Raised Satisfaction and Lowered Avoidable Visits and Admissions

Amanda Logue, the chief medical informatics officer, says much of the dissatisfaction came from technology, Healthcare IT News writes. There were issues with electronic health records and demand for more technology, according to Edwina S. Mallery, assistant vice president of information systems, according to the publication.

The focus of the project was to integrate the patient records and portal and make it available to all areas of the health system, according to Healthcare IT News. Doctors were consulted, and this alignment and standardization of records combined with telehealth allowed them to see one or two extra patients each day, the publication writes. 

In 2013, a clinical transformation committee was formed including the chief executive officer, chief medical officer and chief financial officer, which aligned various service lines, the publication writes. These included distinctive lines for knee joint replacement, hip joint replacement, bariatric, maternity care and more, according to Healthcare IT News. The health system also came up with practical disease management for population health, according to Logue, the publication writes. These changes reduced avoidable emergency department visits and admissions, Healthcare IT News writes. 

Physician satisfaction has been measured each June since 2013, and the system carries out one-on-one interviews with the top 200 practicing physicians, Healthcare IT News writes.

Logue says that the most important thing is sharing the physicians’ feedback with the clinical transformation committee and acting on the results, according to the publication.

Physicians serve on the network executive committee and board of directors, but most are not employed by the system, Healthcare IT News writes.
 
Physician satisfaction has levelled out at around 82% to 83%, but the system is still aiming for 90% satisfaction, according to the publication.

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