All too often “training” is overlooked and at the bottom of many EHR project lists. The impact to not investing in improving the knowledge levels of your teams contribute to a disastrous go-live and a constant up-hill challenge to achieving adoption, let alone optimization. A well-developed strategic training plan is a critical component to a successful go-live.
Having managed an ongoing EHR training project for the past several years, I’ve experienced many “lessons learned:”
- New EHR Users: Any user who is new to your organization or even current employees that are new to the EHR or taking on a new role within EHR should go through training and pass a proficiency before they are given access to the system. This ensures that you have users that understand your system workflows before they begin any type of documenting within your EHR system.
- Support Your Training Team: The organization must back up the training team so that if the Training Manager needs to deny access to a user they can. The trainers should also work with the department Managers and allow the Manager to determine if the user should continue with training or if the user just isn’t a good fit.
- Schedules, Schedules, Schedules: Set a training schedule and stick to it. I have heard to many times how the Training Team of an organization is run ragged because they are constantly trying to satisfy the demands of new hire training sessions. Set schedules and stick to them. For Ambulatory you can alternate you weeks training Red/Sched one week and Clinical the next. You may have to tell a Manager that a new users training will be delayed a week because of the schedule but as long as the schedule is published for all to see, they will soon catch on and plan their hiring of new employees to coincide with the training schedule.
- All the Goodies – at Once? When going live with EHR, build and implement what is needed at the time. You can always add additional functionality later. EHR has a lot of cool features, but without the staff to maintain the functionality of these features after you have implemented them, you may find dissatisfaction among users because of the length of time it will take for updates and changes to occur.
- You Changed What?! Make sure you have a strong Change Control process in place. Your IT Management Team and Analyst should meet on a weekly basis to discuss any system issues and changes. When implementing any changes, all applications within EHR as well as any integrated systems should be involved in the planning and testing. A change may work for the EHR application needing it, but as EHR is an integrated system the change may not work for downstream applications or other integrated software systems. Including all applications in testing should catch any issues.
Shelley Fletcher CPC, PCS, CHCO
Epic Certified in ADT, Prelude, Resolute PB