Updated: Feb 26
For healthcare organizations, the implementation and adoption of an electronic health record (EHR) system is an enormous task. But (fortunately or unfortunately), most healthcare organizations will, at some point, have the experience of either rolling out a new EHR or switching from one EHR to another. The implementation of a new EHR requires a significant upfront investment in the technology, as well as the testing, and design of the system. Training, however, is often an afterthought.
The reality is that making the transition to a new EHR is more than a simple technology swap. It actually changes the way your organization does healthcare. All organizations, regardless of size, require the development of a thorough user training for EHR systems to ensure the system is efficiently used to its full capacity by leveraging best practices that focus on the health and safety of patients.
Demonstrating Commitment to Your New EHR Through Training
An effective EHR training program can have a dramatic impact on the success of your implementation. In fact your training program can be used to create buy-in and commitment to your new EHR from providers, administrators and staff. Including success stories from similar practices and offering data regarding improved patient outcomes and increased efficiencies regarding care can go a long way toward inspiring your staff to fully embrace your new EHR.
In contrast, insufficient EHR end-user training can lead to poor outcomes. These consequences can include medical errors, job dissatisfaction for your staff, and an overall lack of efficiency that can negatively impact your practice’s bottom line.
Four Areas of Focus for Your EHR Implementation Training
Even the best EHR system won’t perform optimally in the absence of well-trained users. The benefits of creating confident users through effective training are extremely powerful. As you plan for your EHR training program, here are four areas to build focus.
Build Your EHR Training Team
Your training team should include personnel members from all areas of your practice that have stakeholders involved. This can consist of, clinical staff, administrative staff, and other users that can offer insight regarding training needs and suggested methods for learning.
Assess Your Training Needs
To ensure the greatest opportunity for success of your EHR training program, you should start by assessing the current skill levels of everyone who will be interfacing with the system. Use this assessment to gain an understanding of their comfort level with computers and systems (this is especially important for those practices that are transitioning from paper-based charts). Identify the level at which your staff is computer-literate to determine whether you should include training modules that cover basic computer skills.
Include Timeline-Based Goals
EHR training is an ongoing process that must extend beyond the preliminary implementation phase. As your EHR updates features over time, for example, this may call for additional user training. And your overall training approach should be designed to provide your users with the skills they will need to enhance their system competency, beyond just basic skills. Given this, your organization should build a training timeline that includes milestones that are driven by user goals and how they can continue to fully leverage your EHR over time.
Develop Your Curriculum
Developing your training curriculum simply a matter of understanding your organizational goals regarding EHR use and focusing on areas in which users are deficient. As much as possible, allow your staff to follow along the training with real time access to the system. By allowing learners to select patient records and input data along with the instructor, they will have a better training experience with greater knowledge retention.
eLearning for EHR Implementation Training
In recent years, as online technologies have continued to evolve online learning or “eLearning” has emerged as a cornerstone for EHR implementation training. eLearning can be leveraged for the majority (or even the entirety) of your training program or as a complement to classroom-based training sessions.
If your organization is considering the use of eLearning for EHR implementation training, here are some of the benefits you can expect:
eLearning reduces or even eliminates many of the costs associated with classroom-based training, such as travel, venue and (on-site) instructor fees, meals, and the distribution of printed learning materials. And with eLearning, there is no lost productivity cost as your users can conduct their learning activities during work breaks or after hours.
Unlike classroom-based training, eLearning allows your users to learn at any time and from any place they choose. All that is required is an Internet connection (and in fact, many eLearning activities can even be conducted offline). This level of convenience can improve the experience can the experience for your administrators and instructors, as well.
One of the unfortunate challenges of classroom-based training is the fact that all students must be able to learn at the pace set by the instructor. eLearning eliminates this by allowing your students to learn at their own pace and even allows them to revisit important or challenging content multiple times before moving on to the next section.
Communication and Collaboration
Many eLearning platforms now offer online tools to enable communication among students or between students and instructors. These tools can help to drive and support the learning experience and can provide a streamlined method of gathering user feedback.
eLearning provides an easy and effective way to collect data regarding user engagement and success. The analysis of this can be extremely valuable as you work to revise and improve your EHR implementation training program over time.
LMS Portals for EHR Implementation Training
LMS Portals provides a cloud-based platform for developing and delivering your EHR implementation training program on your own branded eLearning portal. Our clients are able to run their training programs as part of their own web infrastructure to deliver the best possible online learning experience to optimize the investment in your new EHR system.
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