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EMR Happy Hour – Increasing Productivity and Moral Simultaneously!

To help battle against physician frustration with EMR’s, University of Missouri Health (MU Heath Care) at Columbia now offer a monthly “EMR happy hour” session for clinicians.  The sessions are taken place at MU Health Care in the family medicine department, where MU HC uses the Cerner EMR.  During the one-hour session, clinicians can troubleshoot issues such as: charting, documentation and ordering.  Here they can work together with other clinicians to learn new tricks or to help find easier shortcuts.

Each session is made up to three to ten participants, where each participant brings a laptop to practice new skills.  Rather than having to consult with a vendor when they run into an EMR problem, clinicians will be able engage with their peers and collaborate on their issues.  During these sessions, people are exposed to a variety of documentation options to help them find a style that suits their workflow.  Working face-to-face with each person also helps them become more adapted to the EMR system since each meeting can be tailored to each clinician’s needs.

The point of the exercise was to improve Clinician User understanding and utilization of the new system.  The conclusion of which proved to be very successful.  The expected outcome of the “happy hour” was to help physicians save time and increase productivity.  However, it also yielded several other positive outcomes: shared user experiences, improved moral and social connections, cross learning and discovering wholly new and innovative ways to utilize the EMR system.  One physician responded, “Collegial, I got to talk with others in the same situation as me”.   Physicians/clinicians won’t feel like they are alone when they run into an issue with the EMR system.

A lot of hospitals can learn from MU HC’s EMR happy hour experiment.  This relatively inexpensive idea serves a multifunction purpose, whilst simultaneously increasing utilization and productivity rates.  Where practical, why not include this program in your roll out of any new EMR?  The cost to benefit results are likely to be visibly positive.

This article was created by Stephanie Sok, Business Researcher, Global Healthcare IT, Inc. with assistance from Michael Williams, CEO, Global Healthcare IT, Inc. and the following base line articles: For more on each please click on the link.

Stephanie can be reached on


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