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Whether it is implementing a new EHR or transitioning to a new EHR, your organization is undoubtedly investing a significant amount of capital and utilizing many of your organization’s resources and time to complete that project. Although the technical implementation of an EHR is incredibly important, a solid training plan can make or break the long-term success of an EHR system. When it comes to implementing a training program, the ultimate goal is the positive impact on patient safety, clinical and operational efficiency, and the financial health of the organization. Therefore, this is a crucial project to get right. Many organizations focus mostly on the training PRIOR to go-live, but it is incredibly important to understand that training and support do not end at go-live.

To ensure ongoing success related to training and support, here are a few essential steps any organization should take.

Required Hours for New Hires:
When looking at the training program for new hires, it is important to take a look at what training is necessary to determine an appropriate number of required hours. You also want to make sure you are planning with particular roles in mind so that the required training is tailored and relevant toward the position.

Ongoing Education and Training Cycle:
Develop an ongoing training plan to maintain high proficiency. The plan for training needs to be carefully crafted to provide beneficial training without burnout. This plan should be developed in partnership with the clinicians and care teams to determine: the appropriate focus of training, the appropriate amount of training out the best cadence.

Plan for Upgrades and Turnover:
Choose an appropriate cadence of upgrades and changes to help reduce dissatisfaction and turnover. If an organization is continuously upgrading, it can easily cause burnout, with physicians continually trying to keep up with changes.

Role-based Training Programs:
Generic training has no value to the end-user, it needs to be related to precisely what they are doing and how they are using the EHR. Creating role-based training programs will create the most value for each employee without wasting precious time with unnecessary courses.

Trainer AND Content Quality:
The quality of content is dependent on how well you know how the organization is using the EHR. To determine this, it is important to go into the workplace and understand their individual workflows. Once you know how a specific group is using the EHR, you will be able to tailor the content appropriately, in turn providing high-quality content.

Creative Messaging:
To effectively engage end-users in training, creativity is essential. Every organization has different communication channels, and it is important to assess those and determine which ones are most effective at engaging employees.

Mode of Education:
When creating a training program, it is important to determine what the most effective modes will be. This is determined by matching the magnitude of the content/change with the appropriate approach. If it is a simple change, it may be able to be communicated creatively to catch people’s attention without an online or in-person setting. If it is a more significant change, then you will need to assess and determine if in-person training or online training makes the most sense. Matching the magnitude of content with what is appropriate will help with choosing the right mode of education.

Education and training are of paramount importance to be successful in anything, including the use of an EHR. Members of your organization have to understand not only the tool they are using but also the overall process of what they are doing. Education should be targeted to individual roles and around how to use the tool efficiently and effectively, so it becomes part of their overall professional toolbox and expertise. This will then help them to provide the best patient care possible.

Optimum Healthcare IT has extensive experience and expertise working with clients throughout the lifecycle of an EHR. From System selection, through Implementation, and on through Stabilization and Optimization, our professionals can help you and your organization successfully address these challenges to deliver on your goals of an EHR  that truly Is a tool promoting Improved patient care and outcomes,  meeting the needs of the end-users, and delivering on your Organization’s operational goals.

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Kevin McNamara, MD

Director of Provider Experience LinkedIn

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