by adgrooms on December 11, 2019

Technology is deeply integrated into the fabric of healthcare. Clinicians use an array of software intended to enhance their ability to provide quality patient care. Clinicians need software to work well for them. They also need to know how to operate the software with some skill to realize its full potential. It can be hard to attain complete proficiency in these systems given their complexity and the scarce time for training. One way to encourage and support technical proficiency is to provide technology rounds, a regular time set aside for learning, exploration, and team building.

There are many themes that could be covered in technology rounds. The first that comes to mind is the EHR system. Many topics extend naturally from this theme:

  • Tips and Tricks Sharing: Workflow and navigation efficiency can have a major impact on the workday. People who have received deep training and support actually express satisfaction with these systems, but most institutions do not offer extensive training and most people do not have the desire to cultivate EHR skills in their (already EHR constrained) free time. Technology rounds could provide an opportunity for team members to share tips and workflows with each other.

  • Export Demos: Some organizations make a practice of deeply training a number of system experts. A whole series could be built on topics prepared and presented by an organization's expert - to share some of that invested knowledge. Some potential topics are EHR hotkeys, Macros, context switches, reporting.

  • Troubleshooting: It is hard to ask for or learn a better way in the heat of the moment. One way to hear about and fix difficult workflows is to provide a time for team members to speak up and have their questions answered and problems solved by an institutional expert, IT team member, or a representative from the EHR company.

Another theme for technology rounds is new technology. Software and tools that could enhance workflows like speech recognition and augmented reality could be demoed and discussed. Team members could suggest systems that they have used at other institutions or have read about and want to evaluate for use. This would also be a good opportunity to invite a representative from the administration if they need to assess and approve new technology purchases.

Technology rounds could also benefit from having perspectives from outside of the group. Presenters from other groups can share solutions that they have implemented. For example, they may have just started using a really great scheduling solution and could talk about options considered, making the decision, and the rollout process. A representative from IT could come in and present on topics in security, such as password managers or encryption. There is often a disconnect between IT processes and clinical experience. This would be a good opportunity for IT to present, explain, and answer questions about processes that impact clinicians. This could lead to open forums to present and resolve technical challenges.

The key to establishing successful technology rounds is for someone to take ownership or sponsor the initiative. Technology rounds may receive a lot of excitement at first, but maintaining a consistent interaction may be challenging. The sponsor could be anyone within the organization - a physician, nurse, technical team member. Maintaining a regular cadence as well as quality and variety of experiences will make it a success.

For anyone interested in establishing technology rounds, we have your back with more information and ideas.