May 28, 2019

Solving the burnout puzzle, one piece at a time: InBasket

Morgan McClure

Epic’s InBasket is a splendid communication platform; and unfortunately for many physicians, also a vault full of overdue tasks and unread messages.

Klas’ recently completed Arch Collaborative involving physicians and advanced practice clinicians from it’s 150 provider organizations and found that 54% of Physicians and APCs report spending too much time on bureaucratic tasks while 47% identified EHR and other IT tools impacting their efficiency.


InBasket naturally lives somewhere in this space with its objective to centrally store messages, manage test results, refill requests, direct patient communication and facilitate peer-to-peer collaboration.

These tasks may seem bureaucratic, and I’ve heard from many physicians that InBasket kidnaps much of their time; thus, leading to a sense of gross inefficiency.

Our team at The Wilshire Group is familiar with the challenges involving InBasket and we’ve developed a variety of recommendations to improve physician efficiency and reduce InBasket workload.

Here’s our three main recommendations.

  • InBasket QuickAction: One of the most powerful options is the InBasket QuickAction. QuickAction’s are your mechanism to produce a customized shortcut for reducing InBasket clicks by at least 75%.  Consider rote tasks such as reviewing and releasing Normal results. A well-configured QuickAction can reduce that response to a few clicks, and even “Done” the message automatically. A process that may have required 10, or more, clicks and typing brief sentences can be reduced to a couple of clicks, and BAM, you’re automatically moving to the next message!
  • Redesigned View: As is possible with most any digital landscape you’re using today, basic adjustments to the look and feel can exchange a feeling of despair to one of targeted mission focus. Customizing your view is an option that we find InBasket users are unaware is possible.  Analogous to Outlook, you can fine-tune your folders into a prioritized list that fits your routine and utilize the built-in Sorting and Filtering features to display messages that require immediate attention.  Additionally, the buttons used to adjudicate messages can be moved and modified based on need and preference.
  • Workflow Adaptation: A potential consideration in certain scenarios is workflow adaptation. Provisioning your nursing staff with the ability to operate at a higher tier of their licensure can dramatically improve your InBasket efficiency and engage additional care team members in patient outreach and currency.  While this option is not viable for all clients, we have had great success in bolstering the provider and nurse connections to appear seamless and unified for patients, as well as, reducing clutter for physician’s InBasket.

We realize efficient InBasket management is only one piece of the physician burnout puzzle, and we would jump at the chance to discuss our three recommendations for InBasket management or any of the contributing factors to provider burnout with you.

Feel free to get in touch with us at The Wilshire Group if you have any questions or would like to discuss more!

Morgan McClure

Senior Strategic Advisor

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