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5 EHR Best Practices for Improving Clinician Workflow in 2021

By Team Altus | Published Jan 22, 2020

EHRs (electronic health records) can be used as a valuable tool that can help maximize productivity, enhance patient care and safety, and remove obstacles from current workflows. Not only are EHRs great for building patient trust, but improving care and communication between clinicians, providers, and patients.

As value-based care models are becoming more popular, more and more hospitals are working on optimizing their EHR practices. In fact, a Black Book survey showed 76% of larger practices are eager to make EHR updates in hopes to improve value-based programs.

Read on to learn 5 EHR best practices for improving clinician workflow in 2021.

1. Create a Plan before Implementing EHR Program

Before your EHR dreams become a reality, one of the best investments you can make prior to integration is to have a clear plan.

To meet your optimal results, it’s essential to pay attention to the big picture and the fine details. Communicate with key stakeholders, identify key resources, stay on track with checkpoints, and establish a project timeline.

As you plan and prepare to get your EHR program up and running, it’s important to keep in mind processes that are likely to affect you. Take this list from the Department of Health and Human Services as a starting point:

  • Manages messages
  • Schedules patients
  • Checks in patients
  • Places patient in room
  • Conducts exams
  • Renews or prescribes medications
  • Checks patients out

Creating a plan to redesign or implement EHR into your facility can help streamline workflows, maximize efficiencies, enhance the quality of patient care and safety, and improve care coordination and communication.

2. Leverage Technology to Improve Patient Communication

The technology eliminates patient waiting times and reduces administrative tasks. As for best practices, it’s important to not let technology become a barrier between clinician and patient communication.

For example, a workstation on wheels or a wall-mounted workstation can serve as an opportunity for more active patient participation. Proper position of workstations and monitors can allow the patient to see the screen while the clinician shares information.

EHRs can be used as a teaching tool when information like laboratory results or radiographic images are shared. These EHR visuals become a powerful tool in patient care, education, and communication.

Some suggest when entering the room, take the first minute to listen to the patient and to avoid using or looking at technology. Once sharing or documenting EHR data, periodically make eye contact and look out for non-verbal patient cues.

3. Combine Technology Workstations and Medical Devices

A recent study determined 49% of physician working hours are spent interacting with the EHR. For every hour of clinical work, physicians spent two hours on EHR-associated tasks, many of which must be completed at a desktop. This increases costs, workflow inefficiencies, physician burnout, delays, and inaccurate information.

Free clinicians from the time spent in an office inputting information into a desktop solution but utilizing technology workstations and mobile devices. This solution puts data entry at the clinician’s fingertips so they can seamlessly and quickly document health information on the spot.

Altus’ powered and non-powered technology workstations with ACS MediHealth’s mobile dock are compatible with the MEDITECH EHR software.

Click for more information about the mount accessory, carts, and new workflow.

4. Use EHRs to Improve Care Coordination

EHRs automate the communication process by allowing clinicians and providers to access online patient data.

Members of a care team in different locations can access data and communicate about an individual’s patient’s care. This communication can save money and patient and clinician burden by avoiding duplicate tests or unnecessary treatments. Online data also reduces the risk of error that handwritten documents could result in.

5. Identify Inefficiencies and Improve on Them

Clinicians need the best tools and workflows in order to provide the best care for their patients. As professional burnout is on the rise and patient satisfaction is important now than ever, it’s crucial healthcare leaders look for the best, best practices

At this point, you’ve fully implemented an EHR program in your facility. Now it’s time to evaluate whether expectations were met and determine if any alternations to the program are necessary.

It’s likely you’ll need to make changes, as new technology programs rarely implement without hiccups. And technology is always changing! Establish new goals and develop new technological fixes to achieve your new workflow goals.


Altus, Inc. builds durable, stylish, and adjustable workstations to improve how clinicians, educators, and staff work. For more than 18 years, Altus has studied how real people work to enhance their workflow. Altus computer cart on wheels with storage offers optimized mobility, adjustability, access to patient data and improved clinician well-being. Altus is based in Walker, Mich., and is one of the only U.S.-based technology workstation companies, with more than 80 percent of its product components manufactured in the United States. To learn more, visit www.www.altus-inc.com.

ACS MediHealth ACS MediHealth (ACS) was formed in 1986 with the goal of helping individuals and organizations find healthcare solutions through technology. As a technology integrator and solutions provider, ACS continuously provides innovative solutions to difficult problems in our healthcare technology-driven society. ACS’s goal is to improve, empower, and encourage national and international clinical technology users to have access to their patient’s real-time clinical data. Our 25+ year collaborating partnership with MEDITECH has given us

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