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5 Best Practices for Successful EHR Training

Posted by Francine Haliva on Mar 31, 2016 8:44:13 AM

Even with government incentives, transitioning from a paper-based environment to Electronic Health Record (EHR) software is costing healthcare providers a pretty penny. The cost of migration for hospitals can run from under $10,000 to over $50,000 per physician, with ongoing monthly fees of $300 to $700 per doctor. For a large provider network, costs can reach hundreds of millions of dollars to over one billion dollars. Even small physician practices are looking at an average cost ranging from $164,000 to $233,000 for an EHR transition in just the first 60 days.

So while it’s not uncommon for EHR adoption to be met with some resistance, healthcare providers are quickly realizing the importance of getting staff trained and using the systems as quickly as possible. Research has shown that proper training and support is essential for successful implementation and meaningful use of EHR technology – helping practices avoid setbacks, errors, employee turnover and other common frustrations during the transition.

We have identified 5 best practices for EHR training to help healthcare providers improve the implementation training process and achieve ROI:

1. Determine your training needs from the get-go

All too often, the focus lies on the decision for which EHR system will be selected and the operational aspects of the implementation project, including training, aren't given enough thought. It's important to determine your training needs early in the process so you have a clear idea of the types of training your site may need. Most vendors provide some level of training at the start of implementation, but training needs go on indefinitely, so it is a good idea to look at in-house training and other resources as well.

Also read: 3 Ways Healthcare Providers can Increase EHR Adoption

2. Choose a training team

If your organization does not have a formal learning & development or training department, then now is the time to choose an implementation training team.  Make sure that different members of your organization are represented - from nurses and physicians to administrative staff, billing and front desk employees. By doing so, you ensure that the training program will cover important areas and functions for all users.

Also read: 10 Things to Consider for a Successful Application Rollout

3. Make a plan

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) offers the following guidelines for creating an effective training plan::

  • Describe training that will be completed before, during, and after go-live
  • Identify user roles and training requirements for each role (e.g., clinician, system administrator, super user)
  • Determine how training will continue over time (see our next point)

4. Provide on-going training and support

A recent Health IT system study by Heather K. Hill et al identified that pre-implementation training alone “was not sufficient to make clinicians proficient. End-users found it challenging to translate what they learned in training into practice." This is one of the reasons leading healthcare providers are turning to Performance Support solutions.  Performance support allows EHR users to continue learning while they work.  It provides real-time guidance and automation within the work environment so that knowledge is retained and applied correctly at the moment of need.  This allows users to perform their jobs to the fullest of their capabilities without becoming frustrated, needing to retrain, or damaging the patient relationship and quality of care.  

This short video provides a quick introduction to Performance Support: 

5. Ask for feedback, review, make changes, repeat

Contrary to popular belief, training doesn’t end with implementation.  The same study by Heather K. Hill et al also found that the need for continuous training is there “because areas of improvement are always being identified, and end-user understanding and questions about the HITS became more sophisticated with use”.  In addition, upgrades also require continuous training and support.  To discover and resolve any issues quickly and to prevent errors from occurring it is important to request feedback from staff using the EHR.  Once problem areas can be identified, the correct actions can be taken to ensure the best plan is in place.

Kryon Systems is committed to assisting organizations realize their key performance indicators (KPI) by providing performance improvement solutions which support both the end-user and IT automation efforts alike.  To this end, we offer a comprehensive solution to the business user in the form of Leo Performance Support as well as a cost-effective answer to efficient process execution with Leo Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Topics: Employee training, EHR, Electronic Health Records, Healthcare


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