Core Technologies

Earning Clinician Buy-In One Use Case at a Time

Launching an ambitious IT project can be both exciting and terrifying. It doesn’t matter how much you believe in the solution. Success will largely depend on the buy-in of those who will be using it — and when medical providers are at the heart of that project, the stakes are even higher.

Learn more about Mile Bluff Medical Center’s strategies for detecting provider burnout in this blog.

When I was tasked as the project lead for an ambitious new AI project at Mile Bluff Medical Center, I knew I had a lot of people counting on me. This project would not only have a major impact on our community but would lay the foundation for tackling a daunting issue facing the whole medical community — provider burnout.

As someone who has experienced provider burnout firsthand, I understand the gravity of this issue all too well. Burnout often occurs silently until it reaches critical levels.

Our solution, developed through a partnership between MEDITECH and Google Health, reduces provider burnout by using natural language processing to intelligently surface information from structured and unstructured data from our EHR, such as scanned documents, faxes, and legacy data. Our Expanse EHR then uses Google Health’s advanced summarization capabilities to organize this data into a more holistic view of patients and their conditions.

To succeed, we needed to select the right clinicians from each department to help champion the cause. Education was key. We provided comprehensive one-on-one training for each of these clinician champions, demonstrating how it would support their own unique use cases. We then identified a use case to train each department and optimized the system's workflow to support these use cases. Our efforts were met with immediate excitement.

Soon word spread and our group of pilot users expanded rapidly to over 150 users across 19 departments. Departments you wouldn’t normally identify as your typical pilot audience, from HIM and Revenue Cycle to Infection Control, became avid users. New use cases ranged from quickly and accurately completing chart abstraction, to reconciling problem lists and streamlining infection control chart reviews. With each victory, we celebrated and engaged more departments.

As a clinician, I rely heavily on my peers' experiences, which helped me sell this solution. It's amazing how creative we got just by taking suggestions from our staff and identifying how the search and summarization functionality could be applied to their needs.

But our work is not done. We continue to engage users on new opportunities, working with MEDITECH and Google Health to take the product even further.

Looking back, a few takeaways that contributed to our success include:

  1. Having a supportive organizational culture is important. Be sure to promote the values of teamwork, and mutual respect where individuals feel valued, supported, and inspired to fulfill their professional duties.
  2. Building a culture of open communication is paramount. By actively listening to our staff's concerns and experiences, we created a supportive environment where individuals felt empowered.
  3. Partnerships matter. Choose partners who understand your needs and are willing to learn from you and adapt.
  4. Investing in solutions that alleviate burdens and enhance efficiency can significantly mitigate burnout and result in quick wins.

By uniting in our efforts to tackle burnout, we can all make a big difference.