Software Designed by Clinicians for Clinicians

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Billie Whitehurst By Billie Whitehurst, MS, RN 
Executive Vice President, Extended Care and Care Operations, Change Healthcare
Home care provider using a tablet

Nurses aren’t afraid to speak their minds. They’re accustomed to advocating for their patients so they can provide the best care possible.

And nurses are not afraid to speak up about workplace conditions, either, including the technology they use to document patient care.

I guess the most famous example of nurse exasperation with technology can be found in 2014’s Black Book EHR Loyalty Poll. Admittedly, the poll focused on hospital RNs and their use of electronic health records systems, but it’s not a stretch to believe the same attitudes hold true for home health clinicians.

Few ask nurses for opinions on software

The most telling takeaway is that 98 percent of more than 13,500 licensed RNs said they hadn’t been consulted when the hospital was thinking about buying an EHR or during the buying process. Our experience indicates that nurses are perhaps allowed to provide more input in the criteria for a software system in home health and hospice agencies than they are in hospitals—clinical functionality often is the key driver in a software search.

Other takeaways from the survey include:

  • 90 percent say the EHR has adversely affected communication with patients
  • 94 percent don’t believe the EHR has improved communication among care providers
  • 79 percent rank the reputation of a potential employer’s EHR as a top three consideration for where to work
  • Just 26 percent agree with this statement: “As a nurse, I believe the current EHR at my organization improves the quality of patient information.”

That’s a lot of animosity directed at technology, but we’ve all been subject to some new technology that requires way more time and effort than the ultimate return. And nurses are among the busiest people that I know. They don’t have one moment to waste.

Designed with clinicians in mind

At Change Healthcare, nurses and other clinical users are continually front and center of our efforts to bring new and improved functionality to our products. Many of our product experts come from nursing backgrounds and still keep up with their certifications. They have spent countless hours in patient’s homes or at their bedsides, charting and caring for patients just like your nurses do.

Our software users are our valued partners, participating in product discussions and giving us their “must haves” and wish lists for future software updates. They aren’t shy about taking us to task, either, pointing out bugs and driving us as a company to turn out better and better software with each update or new release.

Many of our home care and hospice customers generously donate their time, energy and resources to beta test our products. This approach not only allows them an opportunity to provide valuable feedback on our products, it also gives them a jump start on rolling out the software when it becomes generally available.

Our focus on nurses doesn’t end when the software is released. That commitment continues through robust educational offerings that include audios, videos and interactive PowerPoint presentations. Clinical leaders and trainers can post these presentations on intranet sites, email snippets or entire presentations to the clinical team or use them as the basis for one-on-one or classroom training.

In short, our commitment at Change Healthcare is to support clinicians, billers and back-office staff with software that works in concert with their normal workflows.

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