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Clinician Satisfaction and ROI – The Yin and Yang

· Kim Tucker,

I was having a discussion about evaluating the worth of a product/solution with a colleague and she made a comment that struck a nerve with me – the C-suite, especially the CFO, doesn’t look at clinician satisfaction, they look at return-on-investment (ROI). I have to ask – in the long term, how can there be a positive ROI on any product/solution without clinician satisfaction? Here’s an example:
In 2014, the Advisory Board cited a Black Book study that indicated:

  • 92% of inpatient nurses were dissatisfied with their hospital’s EHR
  • 94% of respondents said they did not believe that communication between the nurse and the rest of the care team has improved
  • 90% said their EHR system has adversely affected communication between nurses and patients
  • 88% of surveyed nurses blamed their hospitals’ financial administrators and CIOs for choosing low-performing systems based on price, rather than quality of care delivery1

OK, sounds like a bunch of dissatisfied nurses to me. But how does that impact ROI, at least in my nurse brain? Simple –¬†Nurse Retention.

clinical satisfaction and ehr

In 2014, a study from NSI Nursing Solutions2 listed the average national turnover rate for bedside RNs had increased from 11.2% in 2011 to 16.4% in 2014. The report went on to state:

The cost of turnover can have a profound impact on the already diminishing hospital margin and needs to be managed. According to the survey, the average cost of turnover for a bedside RN ranges from $36,900 to $57,300 resulting in the average hospital losing $4.9M – $7.6M. Each percent change in RN turnover will cost/save the average hospital an additional $379,5002.

But the costs don’t end there! The average time to recruit an experienced RN ranged from 53 to 110 days, depending specialty2. Every day that a hospital is short staff, costs go up…overtime, staffing agency use, etc. And chronic understaffing is certainly not making the remaining staff happy.

To me, it is clear that clinician satisfaction with any product or solution is an extremely important part of any ROI discussion. And anything that can lessen the dissatisfaction of nurses with the EHR and improve the communication between care team members and with patients is a solution worth serious consideration.


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