If you spent money on a very expensive car but didn’t put gas in it, your investment wouldn’t amount to much. If you bought a boat but didn’t know how to sail, you probably wouldn’t enjoy its benefits. These may seem like silly scenarios, but implementing and investing in an EHR system without training people to use it would most likely produce similar results.
Training is an integral part of successfully using an EHR. Though it may seem like it’s not a necessary expense for the implementation process, training your staff on a new EHR will usually save you money in the long run by better utilizing its wide array of benefits. Following are some important ways to help your EHR training team avoid burnout before, during and after the implementation process:
Involve trainers in planning
Though training members is a very important part of an EHR implementation, trainers are often left out of the initial planning process and discussions about workflow design. By being involved in the process, trainers can assist in creating a plan that highlights specific organizational goals and objectives, and outlines strategies to prepare users for the new system.
Trainers also can help perform a training needs-assessment prior to the implementation by gathering data from leadership, managers, physicians, nurses and other staff members who will be using the new system. Based on this feedback, they should develop a plan that includes when training will be completed, what types of training should be involved and which training staff members will perform specific roles.
Educate and support trainers
Training staff members can’t relay an EHR’s benefits to a user if they aren’t fully aware of its function. Make sure anyone involved in the training process is fully educated on the system and has the support they need to make their job possible. If they are confident in their abilities and the advantages of the new EHR, they can better pass that enthusiasm on to end-users and decrease employee dissatisfaction.
According to the ONC, the definition of super-users is “staff members trained to move through the EHR system quickly and share helpful hints, tips and techniques.” By using super-users to help the core training staff, some of their burden will be removed. It’s recommended to have one super-user per clinical site, but be careful not to overwork them and cause frustration seen by those being trained.
Schedule regular and ongoing training
Training for an EHR implementation should start with enough time available before the go-live to offer a regular yet flexible training schedule. Those who need to learn basic computer skills should be trained separately before starting the main training to eliminate delays for the rest of the end-users.
Training on an EHR system doesn’t stop after the implementation. Initial training should be succeeded by follow-up training to make sure the system is being used correctly. Through ongoing planned, structured training, members of the core training staff can work with the changes to the system without significant issues popping up on a regular basis. Also, by providing end-users with help books customized to their specific EHR and help “wizards” available at the touch of a button, trainers can avoid non-essential requests and utilize their time more efficiently.
These are just some tips to help avoid burnout for your training staff through an EHR implementation. Whatever steps you choose for involving training in your implementation process, make sure they are communicated effectively to all users. The ONC provides free Electronic Health Record Implementation Training Strategies on its website.
Syntrix consultants have vast experience in helping to train users for a new EHR. Whether you are about to implement an EHR or want to upgrade your current one, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
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