Have you cut EMR training from your budget?
EMR training can seem like a daunting task, but with the right amount of planning it doesn’t have to be. Let’s look at some tips to make training on an EHR easier to get you and your practice on the right track.
Know your staff’s computer skills and provide basic training as needed
If you want your staff to be successful in using your new EMR, they need to know how to do the basics first. Now is the time to identify each individual staff member’s level of computer proficiency so that you know what training you need to provide. There are a number of computer proficiency exams available online for you to use, and once you’ve identified any staff members who need basic training you have a few options. You can pay for classes at a local institution, or have an instructor come into your practice to provide computer classes. There are also a number of resources online for free from a variety of organizations including the Goodwill Community Foundation. Once you have your staff up to speed on the basics of computer usage, training them on the specifics of your new EMR will be much easier.
Choose your “Super Users”
You already identified your staff’s level of competency when it comes to computers, so go back to that information. Who is particularly tech savvy on your team? That’s where you begin to look to identify your Super Users. These individuals will learn your system from top to bottom and will be the in-office guru for all things EMR. They will be your first line of defense when issues arise, and will be an ever-present resource for when other staff members need a helping hand. This position will involve a fair amount of commitment, so it’s important to be sure that the individuals you choose are not only tech savvy but also enthusiastic about taking on this responsibility. Finally, make sure to choose someone who is not already bogged down with too many responsibilities. When you first implement your system, these Super Users are going to need to be available to help the other staff with EMR training initiatives. Therefore, you don’t want them to already be overwhelmed.
Limit the training for most of your staff to only the areas they will actually use
There’s no reason that every staff member needs to know how to do everything the EHR can do. Each individual needs to understand how to complete their specific job tasks within the EMR. That’s all. EHR training on anything more will confuse your staff and waste your time and resources.
Take advantage of all the EMR training resources provided by your vendor
Your vendor will likely provide a wealth of information online to help you learn more about your EMR. It’s important to read the manuals and update guides, explore the forum, and watch available videos. The more you know and understand about your software, the easier it will be to use. Formal EHR training typically carries a cost with it, but these resources are free. Be sure to use them to your advantage.
Create a specific and realistic training timeline
Training can take some time, so it’s important to plan for this. Set short and long term goals for what you want your staff to be up to speed on and when. Plan for multiple training sessions and be sure that each staff member has the time to be involved in them. This investment will pay impressive dividends in the long run.
Make training as real as possible
Learning styles vary from person to person, so putting all of your staff in a room to listen to a trainer explain how the software works won’t work for everyone. Many people learn best when they can be hands on with the material. For this reason, it’s important to have staff training in a setting where each individual can be at a computer terminal with the software available to them. This allows your staff to follow along as the EMR trainer explains the process. A training database is also incredibly useful so that staff can play with the actual processes they’ll be using in an environment where they can make mistakes without consequences. Finally, provide reference pages and instruction sheets for your staff to hang onto after the fact for a quick reminder resource.
There’s no denying that EMR training is an investment, but it’s certainly one worth making. Adequate training makes the difference between EMR success and more technological frustration. Resist the urge to be impatient or overwhelmed and make a plan and stick to it. Your staff will thank you later.