Press Release

MMS-MHA Joint Task Force and Reliant Medical Group issue white paper on EHR best practices

April 22, 2019


Tom Flanagan             Catherine Bromberg            Linda Coccola
781-434-7101             781-262-6027                    508-852-0600
Mass. Medical Society         Mass. Health & Hospital Association       Reliant Medical Group               
BURLINGTON, Mass. – A joint Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) and Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) task force has released a white paper in partnership with Reliant Medical Group that details best practices Reliant has adopted to optimize its electronic health record (EHR) and enhance its usability. A report published in January 2019 by MMS-MHA Joint Task Force on Physician Burnout and Harvard School of Public Health identified inefficient EHRs as one of several leading causes of burnout among health care providers.

Patient satisfaction surveys of EHR users conducted by Press Gainey in 2016 showed Reliant Medical Group’s EHR scoring in the 97th percentile nationally for usability. Key Reliant optimization efforts detailed in the new white paper, “Changing the EHR from a liability to an asset to reduce Physician Burnout,” include cross-affiliated-facility information sharing for all patient EHRs; inbox management; staff placement of EHR-suggested draft orders prior to patient appointments; provider-specific guidelines for triage staff to handle patient phone calls; direct EHR interfacing with patients to reduce clinician and staff clerical work; and more. 

The white paper urges health care providers to consider implementing these best practices as appropriate, and to share with the MMS-MHA task force any additional techniques they have adopted to improve their own EHRs and/or otherwise address clinician burnout. The authors note the efforts illustrated in the paper reflect one medical practice’s experience and are not intended to set forth actual operational, clinical or legal requirements in any particular healthcare setting. 

The paper’s authors are Steven Defossez, M.D., EMHL, CPE, vice president, Clinical Integration, Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association; Larry Garber, M.D., medical director for Informatics, Reliant Medical Group; Alain Chaoui, M.D., FAAFP, president, Massachusetts Medical Society. Read the paper here.

About the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS):
The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) is the statewide professional association for physicians and medical students, supporting 25,000 members. We are dedicated to educating and advocating for the physicians of Massachusetts and patients locally and nationally. A leadership voice in health care, the MMS contributes physician and patient perspectives to influence health-related legislation at the state and federal levels, works in support of public health, provides expert advice on physician practice management, and addresses issues of physician well-being. Under the auspices of the NEJM Group, the MMS extends our mission globally by advancing medical knowledge from research to patient care through the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM Catalyst, and the NEJM Journal Watch family of specialty publications, and through our education products for health care professionals: NEJM Knowledge+, NEJM Resident 360, and our accredited and comprehensive continuing medical education programs.

About the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA):
The Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association (MHA) was founded in 1936, and its members include 71 licensed member hospitals, many of which are organized within 29 member health systems, as well as interested individuals and other healthcare stakeholders. MHA serves as the unified voice for Massachusetts hospitals on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill. Through leadership in public advocacy, education, and information, MHA represents and advocates for the collective interests of its members and supports their efforts to provide high-quality, cost-effective, and accessible care during an era of unprecedented change. 

About Reliant Medical Group:
Founded in 1929 and having become a part of Optum in April 2018, Reliant Medical Group, inclusive of Southboro Medical Group, serves approximately 317,000 patients, making it the largest independent, ambulatory integrated health system in the Central Massachusetts and Metro West Regions. With over 500 providers and 2,600 employees across more than 20 locations, Reliant Medical Group offers a unique team-based approach to care. Reliant accepts all major forms of health insurance. For more information on Reliant Medical Group please visit: