by Site Staff
December 1, 2004
Chief Learning Officer
Evanston Northwestern Healthcare
As head of learning and development, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Chief Learning Officer Jane Dowd played a major role in changing the record-keeping arrangement for the organization from a disjointed, paper-based collection of files to an integrated and quick electronic system to improve customer service. During the implementation process, Dowd devoted some 80 percent of her time to making sure the Electronic Health Record had a successful launch, while continuing to handle all of her other areas of responsibility as CLO, as well.
To prevent record-keeping from becoming an organizational bottleneck, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare rolled out a suite of products from Epic Systems that integrated registration, scheduling, physician billing, in-patient clinical documentation and orders, ambulatory documentation and orders, pharmacy and emergency department modules into a single system. Dowd and her learning and development department had the responsibility of demonstrating the functionality of the software, as well as showing physicians and other employees how this system would alter their job tasks.
This was a considerable undertaking, as it would involve changing more than 500 workflow processes within the organization, but Dowd and her team were up to it. They delivered standardized, classroom-based training to familiarize Evanston Northwestern Healthcare employees with the system and ensure that they understood the implications of its implementation. After two years of this learning program, 100 percent of the organization’s physicians, nurses and other medical professionals had adopted the new electronic record-keeping procedure.
Frequent use of this new system has led to greater performance and efficiency, as Evanston Northwestern Healthcare professionals now have immediate access to up-to-date, precise patient records. This has led to substantial improvements in medical test turnaround time and dramatic decreases in dictation costs. Additionally, insurance denials due to insufficient patient information have dropped from 13 percent to .05 percent.