Every successful physician satisfaction program is centered around a robust governance structure. The value of governance to physician satisfaction has been born out in the findings of the KLAS Arch Collaborative. But according to a 2014 HIMSS Analytics study, only 60 percent of healthcare organizations have a formalized EHR governance structure in place! 

Why Governance Matters

There are many benefits to good governance, but first and foremost is the sense of shared ownership. Integrating key stakeholders into the decision-making process fosters buy-in, adoption, and a sense of ownership, all of which lead to higher adoption and higher satisfaction with the EHR. When key stakeholders understand and are a part of the decision-making process, they become ambassadors and evangelists for the end product.

Building a Base of Knowledge 

Your governance program needs to be focused on and have strong representation from the key workflows and Epic modules at your organization. I also think those who sit on your governance team should have a deep knowledge of Epic. This combination of workflow and Epic knowledge leads to good decisions. I am, therefore, a big proponent of the Epic Physician Builder program. I would strongly consider requiring Physician Builder certification in order to be a voting member of your governance team. At the very least, look to have all on your governance team complete the Epic Power User course.

Each of the Epic modules has some unique workflows; therefore, building a team of experts in this area will improve the satisfaction of all of the physician workflows at your organization. Start at the core with representatives from inpatient, ambulatory, orders & decision support, surgery (Op Time), ED (ASAP).  Then, build with the key specialties at your organization like Peds, OB/GYN (Stork), Cardiology (Cupid), Radiology (Radiant), Orthopedics (Bones), Anesthesiology, Population Health (Healthy Planet), Oncology (Beacon), and Ophthalmology (Kaleidoscope). You should include specialties important at your organization that do not have their own Epic modules. It is good to have expertise in reporting and analytics on your team as well.

Where to Get Started

One final point on governance is to invest in what you have first. Governance is about optimization and innovation, not maintenance. Make sure routine maintenance and upgrades are funded first, then focus your governance on the remainder of your budget. A typical IS organization spends 60 percent of its budget on routine operations, 25 percent on optimization and incremental improvement, and 15 percent on innovation. Governance is focused on the last two buckets.

If you don’t have a formal physician governance process in place, start with a few key interested stakeholders, educate them and set up routine meetings between this group and your IS analyst team. Then, build from there!

Interested in learning how Medix Technology can supply the leadership, guidance and talent you need to accelerate the building of a successful and cost-effective physician satisfaction program at your organization? Click here to contact our team!

About the Author

Dr. Patty Author Frame

Dr. Brian Patty joined Medix Technology as Chief Medical Informatics Officer in 2020. As one of the nation’s first CMIOs, he brings more than 40 years of medical and clinical informatics experience to the team. Dr. Patty partners with our clients at all stages of their Epic journey, from implementation to optimization. His areas of expertise include improving clinical workflows, simplifying EHR processes to improve end user satisfaction, reducing burnout and costly turnover, and maximizing technological investments.