One of the major criticisms that healthcare professionals have about their EMR system is that they find it complicated and time consuming. Some practitioners also feel that they’ve become more of a “data entry” worker than a clinician.
In our experience, a root cause of this criticism and frustration is lack of staff training. When an EMR system (like Epic) is implemented, sometimes the users are not properly trained and supported to get the greatest return on investment from their system.
To remedy this, we recommend that EMR system training programs be optimized, using the following best practices:
1. Customize training materials to reflect work practices.
Training materials should be customized to accurately reflect the workflows and processes that will be used. Gaining input from system builders and “power users” will ensure the initial training materials are correct. Updating the training materials as workflows are modified is also key to ensure high quality content.
2. Ensure a standard level of computer proficiency.
System users have varying levels of experience or comfort in utilizing computer technology and advanced software. Additional training support should be provided, and proficiency testing administered, to ensure all users meet a baseline level of skill.
3. Incorporate multiple learning styles.
Some people learn best using visual and audio based training, while others need to be in the driver’s seat with hands-on exercises. Employ a variety of training methodologies including: traditional lecture style, scenario-based learning, e-learning and educational games. Using a “train the trainer” approach works well to ensure each work group has access to a trained resource for ongoing questions and support.
4. Consider the learning environment and scheduling needs.
Insufficient training is sometimes due to lack of planning for an appropriate learning environment, or for time away from staffing to attend training sessions. Ensure a comfortable environment where users can have uninterrupted time to focus on learning, and sufficient breaks to avoid learning fatigue.
5. Provide ongoing support.
EMR system training is more than a single event at implementation. Questions will arise after go-live, workflows will be updated, and users will create their own shortcuts and workarounds. It is important to provide on-going training to ensure your team is using the system consistently.
Learn More about EMR System Training
If your practice or healthcare organizations is not getting the most out of your EMR system, then the issue may not be the technology – it could be the effectiveness of the training.
At Syntrix Consulting Group, we specialize in EMR system implementation and optimization, and can create a customized training program that uniquely fits your current and ongoing needs. Contact us today to learn more!