Appl Clin Inform 2020; 11(01): 130-141
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1701255
Research Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Promoting Quality Face-to-Face Communication during Ophthalmology Encounters in the Electronic Health Record Era

Sally L. Baxter
1  Shiley Eye Institute and Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
2  Health Sciences Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
,
Helena E. Gali
1  Shiley Eye Institute and Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
2  Health Sciences Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
,
Michael F. Chiang
3  Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, United States
4  Department of Ophthalmology, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, United States
,
Michelle R. Hribar
3  Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, United States
4  Department of Ophthalmology, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, United States
,
Lucila Ohno-Machado
2  Health Sciences Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
5  Division of Health Services Research and Development, Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, United States
,
Robert El-Kareh
2  Health Sciences Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
,
Abigail E. Huang
3  Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, United States
,
Heather E. Chen
1  Shiley Eye Institute and Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
,
Andrew S. Camp
1  Shiley Eye Institute and Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
,
Don O. Kikkawa
1  Shiley Eye Institute and Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
,
Bobby S. Korn
1  Shiley Eye Institute and Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
,
Jeffrey E. Lee
1  Shiley Eye Institute and Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
,
Christopher A. Longhurst
2  Health Sciences Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
,
Marlene Millen
2  Health Sciences Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States
› Institutsangaben
Funding This study was supported by the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation, National Institutes of Health (P30EY022589, P30EY10572, R00LM12238, T15LM011271, and UL RR031980), and Research to Prevent Blindness.
Weitere Informationen

Publikationsverlauf

06. November 2019

24. Dezember 2019

Publikationsdatum:
19. Februar 2020 (online)

Abstract

Objective To evaluate informatics-enabled quality improvement (QI) strategies for promoting time spent on face-to-face communication between ophthalmologists and patients.

Methods This prospective study involved deploying QI strategies during implementation of an enterprise-wide vendor electronic health record (EHR) in an outpatient academic ophthalmology department. Strategies included developing single sign-on capabilities, activating mobile- and tablet-based applications, EHR personalization training, creating novel workflows for team-based orders, and promoting problem-based charting to reduce documentation burden. Timing data were collected during 648 outpatient encounters. Outcomes included total time spent by the attending ophthalmologist on the patient, time spent on documentation, time spent on examination, and time spent talking with the patient. Metrics related to documentation efficiency, use of personalization features, use of team-based orders, and note length were also measured from the EHR efficiency portal and compared with averages for ophthalmologists nationwide using the same EHR.

Results Time spent on exclusive face-to-face communication with patients initially decreased with EHR implementation (2.9 to 2.3 minutes, p = 0.005) but returned to the paper baseline by 6 months (2.8 minutes, p = 0.99). Observed participants outperformed national averages of ophthalmologists using the same vendor system on documentation time per appointment, number of customized note templates, number of customized order lists, utilization of team-based orders, note length, and time spent after-hours on EHR use.

Conclusion Informatics-enabled QI interventions can promote patient-centeredness and face-to-face communication in high-volume outpatient ophthalmology encounters. By employing an array of interventions, time spent exclusively talking with the patient returned to levels equivalent to paper charts by 6 months after EHR implementation. This was achieved without requiring EHR redesign, use of scribes, or excessive after-hours work. Documentation efficiency can be achieved using interventions promoting personalization and team-based workflows. Given their efficacy in preserving face-to-face physician–patient interactions, these strategies may help alleviate risk of physician burnout.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

The study adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki and was reviewed and approved by the UCSD Institutional Review Board. Animal subjects were not included.