It is the most important piece of any new EHR conversion: training. Training is typically led by a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in their respective field, financials or clinical. On the financials side it may be a revenue cycle manager or someone with experience in billing and claims management. However, often on the clinical side, the SME is not necessarily a peer to the provider or may not even be someone with a clinical background, just someone who has been trained how to use that portion of the system. This often leads a to a trust gap for providers.
Also, often training is scheduled in between patient appointments, leaving the provider distracted and unfocused during training. We have seen this first hand with many of our clients converting to a new EHR. The singular time to focus heavily on training for the most important piece of the practice – the provider – is often condensed and rushed. This leads to overall provider dissatisfaction with the EHR.
It is key to any new EHR implementation to have a Physician Champion. This provider is usually the one provider in the group who understands the mechanics of the system, how to build templates and how to enter their notes concisely and accurately. Getting the buy-in from just one provider that is willing to share his or her excitement with the product is a great step in the direction of a successful implementation. Similarly, physician training should be taken as the single most important piece of the implementation process. And getting your Physician Champion to lead that training enhances the level of trust from the other providers in the group. Setting aside a specific time, outside of patient care, is critical as well. Make sure enough time and enough sessions are scheduled to make the providers feel comfortable maneuvering the system.
Single provider practices
For single provider practices, it may be best to get his or her nurse trained on the application and to let him or her do the training for the provider. Again, you start with a higher trust level and the nurse is most likely extremely familiar with the provider’s workflow and will know how to best acclimate him or her to the new system.
Lastly, for every implementation, we recommend a Mock Go-Live 1-2 weeks prior to the actual Go Live. This gives everyone an opportunity to use their training in the new system and get a feel for how to use the new workflows. Make sure your Physician Champion and another clinical SME are available for any questions that come up from the providers.
There are a lot of moving pieces to a system conversion or new EHR implementation. Making sure the providers are trained and comfortable sets the rest of the staff up for success.