How do you bounce back from employee turnover and training new staff on your EHR system?
Turnover is a fact of life for all businesses, and medical practices are no different. The employees you had when you implemented your EHR system were beautifully trained; how do you go about getting the new hires up to snuff? Figuring out this dilemma is critical to both these new employees’ success and yours as a practice. Let’s look at some steps and best practices for how to successfully acclimate your new employees to your EHR software.
3 Steps for Training New Staff
When a new employee starts the job they need to learn what the system looks like, how to accomplish specific tasks, and what the system’s overall functionality is like. This should take place starting on their first day. This phase of training should emphasize what job tasks will be performed within the EHR system and which tasks will not. Also, it’s important for the new employee to understand the practice’s specific style of documentation. This is a good time to provide the new hire with sample physician notes and ensure they know how to navigate the EHR. New hires should be able to find needed data before they’re ever in an exam room with a patient.
Once the new hire understands the basic mechanics of the EHR, the next step is to have them shadow someone else. Shadowing should last for at least one full day in order to see first-hand how the EHR fits in with the practice’s workflow. Once the new employee feels comfortable that they understand what they’ve seen through shadowing, that staff member should shadow the new employee as he or she does the actual EHR work. As the trainer shadows the new employee they can identify potential issues before they become a concern. Also, the staff member can provide tips and shortcuts that might help the new employee to be more efficient. Actual time spent on the shadowing step varies depending on how quickly the new hire progresses and feels comfortable navigating the system.
Going it alone
Usually, most new hires will be ready to go out on their own after about a week of training. It’s important that the new employee has support throughout the transition, as questions don’t automatically stop after training. Make sure they know who the Super Users are in your practice so they know where to turn if they feel lost.
Train for the specific employee role
Not every employee will use every part of your EHR system. Therefore, it isn’t necessary for everyone to know how to do everything. Train your new employees according to their specific role and the tasks they will be performing on a daily basis.
Look to your vendor for help
Your vendor has likely given you a number of resources from manuals to update guides and beyond. Use these to help with guiding your training of new employees. Also remember that your vendor can be a great resource in providing training if that works better than having another member of your staff serve as trainer.
Keep the lines of communication open
It’s important for your new employees to understand that they can depend on their colleagues for help when they have an issue with the EHR. Let your new hires know who they can go to and make sure those individuals continually make themselves available as a resource.
Joining a new practice and learning a new system can feel intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating. Be intentional in your training and make sure your new employees know they have support when they need it. With the right guidance and resources, your new hires should be up to par in no time.